What is Servant Leadership Essay

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The scarcity of leaders that can properly assess situations and influence current and future generations, especially during difficult times, is setting back organizations and making them inadequate to keep up with volatility. In this article, the author describes the optimal skills that leaders consider to be critical to the future of leadership. Mature cohorts in the workforce are being overtaken by millennials entering the force at a very rapid pace, already accounting for more than 50%, which in turn is demanding a quick shift in leadership that better adapts to the needs of followers. In addition, flexibility and being able to anticipate changes gives leaders the capacity to seamlessly transform between styles as needed. The article compares the similarities and differences in leadership skills found in both Europe and the United States, as growing ambiguity and complexity of markets forces leaders to face frequent downturns. The author argues that due to these challenges, a leader’s skill set must be easily adaptable, as required by the situational approach. Finally, the author identifies the practices that are used by universities, organizations, and in neuroleadership to teach these skills.

With a more centralized focus on follower development, teaching methodology can be tailored to individuals and their corresponding level. A current flaw of the education system is that it is adapted to fit a particular group of people and assumes students have relatively similar characteristics and learning abilities. Organizations, on the other hand, are gaining a deeper understanding of the millenial’s need for regular feedback. By exhibiting supportive behaviours, leaders can focus on individual needs by taking into consideration unique goals, visions, and adapting coaching accordingly. Similarly, Neuroleadership research emphasizes the importance of teaching balance, taking into consideration the four components of learning as described by Davachi et al.: Attention, Generation, Emotions, and Space. The author concludes by revisiting the similarities, differences, and gaps between leadership skills in Europe and the United States. Trustworthiness is identified as the most valued trait in Europe, while it is ranked as the second most important trait in the US, behind self-awareness. Europe ranks Teamwork as a more relevant skill, and this appears to contribute to Europe’s model of leadership, emphasized by team efforts. In this respect, there is a large discrepancy between the US and Europe scores. Similarly, in times of crisis, Europe sees Trustworthiness as the most important asset to face recessions, while the US values Integrity in its leaders to possess during difficult times. An important limitation of this study is the lack of cultural diversity selected for this study. The sample is not inclusive of the views of diverse populations, which may lead to questions about the applicability of the study’s findings. Additional qualitative research is required to deeper understand differences in leadership amongst diverse cultures.

This article describes the significance of human capital in the 21st century and the central traits that leaders must be equipped with in order to guide organizations toward success. With modern generations entering and occupying over 50% of the labor market, the authors suggest that servant leadership is regarded as the optimal leadership style to retain employees. The authors suggest that servant leadership can help leaders to meet their employees’ needs, whether personal or career-oriented. It is argued that there is a direct relationship between human capital retention strategies and firm performance has been identified. With millennials’ indifference to company loyalty, it is a continuous challenge for leaders to retain knowledgeable workers. It is one of the biggest challenges that organizations are facing and demands elastic, adaptable changes to satisfy the needs of, and provide influence to, followers with distinct value systems. The authors argue that leaders who focus on followers’ needs beyond the requirements of the organization, prioritize personal improvement, and invest in followers’ development and health will generate high levels of employee satisfaction and commitment, positively impacting productivity and increasing performance.

Composed of five fundamental dimensions, servant leadership has a deep focus on human development. By being Altruistic, leaders seek to serve by prioritizing followers’ needs and stimulating positive bonds, resulting in confidence as followers recognize they are supported beyond organizational obligations. Providing Emotional Healing requires self-management to help followers overcome obstacles that discourage and impact performance. Economic downturn brings along difficult environments that create uncertainty and affect productivity. Followers may become discouraged by possible job losses, and it is up to the leaders to encourage morale using their Wisdom, an important dimension in the sense that leaders must have the ability to read environments and understand cues to appropriately and proactively address the concerns of followers. Having the ability to anticipate changes using Persuasive Mapping, in order to accurately address the needs of each follower and meet more specific needs, leaders need to be able to understand how they think and operate. By doing so the leader can better influence followers based on these unique attributes. Finally, Organizational Stewardship, one of the elements that most millenials want to be associated with, is the opportunity to work for companies that are positively impacting the economy and the planet. By being socially responsible, ethical, and displaying morale, leaders influence and motivate followers to follow similar attitudes. A generation that has been raised on the collapse of several companies because of unethical choices wants to know they are working for a better future. If organizations want to continue to attract and retain talented employees, additional efforts must be made to promote servant leadership as a strategy for investment and development of human capital.

The article suggests that Servant Leadership is the preferred, and optimal way to lead organizations towards success in the modern world, amongst emerging generations. It outlines a direct correlation between the retention of valuable human capital, and organizational performance. Companies that invest in their employees have already seen better results, by shifting away from outdated attitudes that used to consider employees as means of production, towards a more humane orientation that considers employees as essential and irreplaceable components to the network. Understanding the needs of each employee can create positive impacts, since employees who feel appreciated by their leaders, will naturally perform more effectively with added interest for the success of the organization. It is however, not a new concept that treating workers fairly, and taking care of them will provide positive results. In fact it is the leaders responsibility to find retention strategies that custom fit to individuals, creating a safe environment promoting wellness, innovation, the recognition of good work, and establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships with followers by genuinely caring for their well being. “A study showed that servant leadership has a positive association with organizational performance, measured in terms of returns on assets” (Timiyo & Yeadon-Lee 2016). As we continue to experience transformational leadership shift away from hierarchical structures, into more flat approaches which emphasizes the relationship between the leader and the follower, the work culture and attitudes begin to have a positive impact.

As a millenial in the workforce I have always defended the position of the employees in the organization, considering them as human assets to any business, but it is a leaders responsibility to determine the capabilities of individuals and adapt these strengths to the needs of the organizations to attain desirable results. Considering that all individuals count with different strengths this is the role of leadership to determine developmental stage, and what the follower needs in order to reach goals that satisfy both the organization and himself. Leaders must be ready to serve in any way they can to motivate and encourage workers when it is needed, most especially during difficult times which is when skills are put to the test. As a result I certainly agree with the argument that Servant Leadership is the optimal style to direct followers to success in the modern world.

Having been at my job for a few years I have observed drastic changes in leadership, especially during the most difficult times which have brought superiors to very challenging situations. The outcomes have not always been the greatest, and I feel that a lack of leadership initiative, and meeting the needs of employees are not highly prioritized. In turn this has caused great deal of dissatisfaction amongst not only myself, the store manager but also followers under my direction which has impacted productivity for the year. I feel partly responsible as I have let my superiors affect my behaviour, and I have transferred these disappointing feelings down to the staff who react accordingly. Instead, I will take the skills that I have learned from Servant Leadership and attempt at applying these theories to my followers. By carefully determining the developmental stage of each of my workers, I will begin attempting to understand the specific needs of each, as well as their career visions and goals so that I can adjust strategies to help them reach their maximum potential hopefully bringing along innovation to the organization.


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What is Servant Leadership Essay. (2022, Jun 09). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-is-servant-leadership-essay/

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