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Servant Leadership and Ethical Leadership Essay Example
Servant Leadership and Ethical Leadership Essay Example

Servant Leadership and Ethical Leadership Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (1229 words)
  • Published: April 28, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The aspect of leadership is one of the imporant aspects of the society that many professionals have consistently studied, analyzed, debated and assessed because of the significance of the role of leadership in the success and effectivity of the country as reflected in the performance of the different groups found inside the multi-layered echelon of the society. Since the history of time, leadership has always been a significant feature of the social life. Humans are social people who live in groups and as such require the presence of leaders of different styles and types to lead these different groups of people forward.

Throughout history, past leaders has been assessed based on the characteristics of their leadership styles. These leaders, as well as scholars, who are educated in this field of study, contributed significantly towards the creation of the ideal models for leadership. Two of these popular models include the servant-leader model or the leadership through service model propagated by Robert Greenleaf; and the other one is ethical leadership which was designed significantly by the inputs of Ronald Heifetz.

Today's leaders are largely influenced by these two leadership models, and vis-a-vis, their leadership approach is appraised using these two models. Because of this, it is important to discuss the servant leader and the ethical leadership models so that its characteristics are better understood and the two concepts clearer in the minds of those who foresee themselves as leaders in the future and may want to apply any or both of the two leadership models.



racteristics of a Servant Leader

To be able to understand what servant leadership is, it is important to know first the characteristic of a servant leader first. Greenleaf has had many followers, students and disciples who adhered to and studied the concept of servant leadership as how Greenleaf proposed it to be. Don M. Frick (2004), who wrote extensively about the idea of servant leadership as Greenleaf has designed it, explained that "the core idea of servant-leadership is quite simple: authentic, ethical leaders, those whom we trust and want to follow, are servants first (Frick, 2004, p. 5).

This discussion provided the readers with an idea about the characteristics of a servant leader. As the name suggests, the primary characteristic of a servant leader is having the leader to be oriented to service, to the extent of being a servant first before being a leader and to serve consistently as would a servant even if elevated in the leader position. For the servant leader, leadership is a mantle earned because of the desire to serve and not merely to lead in the sense that one is pointing fingers so that subjects would do the action for the leader.

Those who adhere to the model of servant leadership are leaders who are motivated by the desire to serve others through direct action or through the use of the person’s innate or acquired skills to help other people in any of the many different ways, or both. Despite how the idea of leadership being politicized today, there is still a very good chance that many of today’s leaders adhere to the concept of servant leadershi

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and possess the characteristics of a true and genuine servant leader.

According to the website Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership discussing the idea of servant leadership, an important characteristic of the servant leader is the possession of the instinct that above everything else, the top priority is serving other people and attending to their needs Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, 2008). Servant Leadership and how Greenleafs Perspective on Servant leadership Compares to Heifetz’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership

The perspective that Greenleaf has regarding servant leadership is propelled by the fact that Greenleaf has had high regards with the concepts of

  1. serving or service, and
  2. leadership.

According to Greenleaf, the idea of serving and leading are good words which can be "built and used again (Greenleaf, 2003, p. 31). " The idea of ethical leadership that was espoused by Heifetz can be compared to the idea of servant leadership by Greenleaf because of the similarities and differences between the two.

Just like the model of servant-leadership, the idea of ethical leadership is a model featuring a pro-active leader that acts upon the needs and goals of the team/group and its members. "Ronald Heifetz emphasizes the leader's role in focusing, analyzing, diagnosing, and interpreting challenges to the group's values and effectiveness that have to be faced (Morrill, 2007, p. 11). A key difference between the two is the presence of the consideration of ethics as the primary characteristic of leaders and leadership in Heifetz’s model while for Greenleaf, the important characteristic for leaders above anything else is service, and the difference in the main empowering concept between the two models create different types of leaders and different types of leadership approach in the long and short term.

Compare and Contrast the 3 Perspectives on Ethical Leadership In lieu of servant leadership and ethical leadership and the three perspectives including

  1. utilitarianism,
  2. ethical egoism and
  3. altruism,

it can be said that some of these are present in any of the two models of leadership.

Altruism is an important characteristic of servant leadership, as well as ethical leadership. The servant leader and the ethical leader both seek the best interest of the people; while utilitarianism may also be present because the leader who serves also has the capacity to make the best use of the resources with minimal cost and impact to the group/society/team.

Ethical egoism, on the other hand, maybe difficult or impossible to find in the servant leader and in the ethical leader because it is not a characteristic of the leader in this two models, wherein the end or outcome of action is centered or benefits the leader more than it benefitted the members of the team/group/society.

These three perspectives provide an idea what the leader may focus on; this also helps define more clearly the charcteristics of the possible servant leader and ethical leader.

Conclusion Leadership is important because it is the source of direction and course of action of individuals involved inside a group. Leaders are found in different groups inside the society. Despite the variety in the groups leaders lead, leaders, nonetheless, should possess important leadership characteristic to be successful and effective. These individuals can acquire this by following different

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