Servant leadership has been linked to many progressive management practices, which are increasingly being seen as important in achieving many organizations’ goals. Sendjava & Pekerti (2010) postulate that servant leadership is a more progressive leadership approach compared to the earlier leadership styles, in which leaders sought power rather than authority. At the bottom-line, servant leadership is about servant hood and not leadership. It starts with a discovery of an existing need that leads one to seek to fulfil it. The major dimensions include conceptualizing, putting followers first, behaving ethically, emotional healing, empowering followers, helping followers succeed, and creating value for others and the community.
The results from the questionnaire have enabled me realize my philosophy on servant leadership. The questionnaire results indicate that I am strong in exhibiting ethical behavior, conceptual skills, empowering others, and creating value for the community. On the other hand, I am average on putting the followers first, and helping them grow and succeed. Therefore, my personal leadership philosophy is to develop and possess strong conceptual and ethical traits, and empower followers and create value for the community. I am therefore a leader who understands the goal of an organization, the means to achieve it, and constructively address complex problems that arise. Besides, I would allow followers to solve issues in a manner they feel is best, make their own career decisions, as well as expect them to exhibit high ethical standards.
However, I am surprised by the manners in which some of the servant leadership traits overlap with transformational leadership. This is because I exhibit conceptual skills and empowering others, which is also an important traits for transformational leader. According to Emily et al., (2013) transformational leadership and servant leadership have aspects that overlap, but the main goal of both leadership styles is different. In transformational leadership, the main goal of empowering individuals is to benefit the organization without minding how it will affect them, whereas the goal of empowering individual in servant leadership is to enable them grow, which will help meet other goals of the organization.
The traits of servant leadership have an impact on my leadership style in different manner. For instant, servant leadership requires putting the followers first and helping them grow and succeed. This has impact on my leadership style because, I will have to improve on minding the welfare of the followers and sacrificing my own progress to help them grow and succeed. This is a challenging issue to me because it would be hard for me to sacrifice my own progress, for instant where my family, friends, and associates expect the opposite. I would therefore expect the followers to work hard for their own progress.
However, servant leadership would make me a more effective leader because according to Peter, (2013), this style of leadership requires a good understanding of the organization, enabling others develop new skills, and solving problems in creative ways. Possessing these traits would improve my leadership style, which would make me more effective.
Servant leadership is people-centered. An effective leader must show concern for the progress of others without favoritism. According to Sendjava & Pekerti (2010) organizations are increasingly showing concern for the communities in which they operate, which is being viewed as a way of fostering public relations. Therefore, the need to shift from being egoistic to being people oriented is real. Leaders are being valued by their concern about others and the community, and that is why leaders are inclined to exhibit servant leadership traits. However, servant leaders must develop a system that gives them authority rather than power, which will motivate teamwork and exchange of ideas.
Emily M; Mitchell J; Neubert, S; Perry, L; Lisa, M; Evan W (2013). Servant leaders inspire servant followers: Antecedents and outcomes for employees and the organization. The Leadership Quarterly (24) 316-331
Peter, Y (2013). The servant identity: Influences on the cognition and behavior of servant leaders. The Leadership Quarterly (24) 544-557 Sendjaya, S; Pekerti, A (2010) Servant Leadership as Antecedent of Trust in Organizations. Leadership & Organization Development Journal