The Defining Of Servant Leadership Theology Religion Essay Example
The Defining Of Servant Leadership Theology Religion Essay Example

The Defining Of Servant Leadership Theology Religion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 18 (4796 words)
  • Published: November 6, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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Servant leading has been the beginning of many arguments in the recent yesteryear with respect to its relevancy in the modern universe. It was antecedently associated with religious affairs, particularly in the kingdom of leading in Christianity. The application of the theory of servant leading in the secular universe is specifically associated with the plants of Robert K. Greenleaf, and it receives considerable support and grasp from many professionals in the direction and leading sphere.

It is besides of import to observe that a subdivision of the multitudes offers some unfavorable judgment to the theory in certain positions. These issues, therefore, highlight the importance of specifying servant leading and the kineticss that surround it. A servant leader by and large promotes success in a peculiar organisational scene by prioritising on the strengths, and demands depicted by co-workers and other members of the organisatio


n. A servant leader, therefore, serves the organisation 's resources with the needed humbleness and concern. Resources include fiscal facets, physical things, and human existences in that peculiar scene. The same applies to leading in Christianity where a leader is expected to be low and considerate of the predicament of others.

Specifying Servant-Leadership

The term `` servant-leadership '' is really controversial, but the conceiver fundamentally capitalized on its really nature to advance servant-leadership constructs. It is apparent that he looked for a descriptive term that would ease deeper ideas whenever the relationship portrayed by leaders and followings is questioned. The two footings are contradictory ; therefore, Greenleaf apparently persuades us to rethink our base on the nature of leading. It is, nevertheless, apparent that leading and service are two inseparable footings one time a individual understands

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better. In Christianity, it is understood that a good leader leads in a virtuous manner, and strives to be like Christ. In other words, they seek to function their followings in a procedure that synthesizes leading and service in the best manner.

In servant-leadership, the leader takes the place of a retainer in the procedure of tie ining with his followings. Here, it is presumed that good and reliable leading stems from the will to assist others, as opposed to the thought of exerting of power and control over others. This is the basic component of illustriousness in any leader, and it is interesting to see how it besides applies to the secular universe. Common cognition suggests that the involvement and desire to function others can merely use efficaciously in the spiritual domain.

A servant leader is normally motivated by the demand to authorise and instil illustriousness in his followings, which in bend makes him a great leader. This means that people are made to understand that the work is designed for the individual in the same manner the individual is designed for the work. In this instance, the Christian organisations are reminded about the nature of the relationship that is evidenced by the society, the people, and the organisation. When a leader creates an environment that empowers his followings while using their strengths, endowments, and engagement, the work force becomes motivated, and success is easy accomplishable.


Recent decennaries have experienced an addition in the credence of servant leading where Christianity leads the battalion. It is rather hard to come across any Christian denomination that does non encompass the constructs of servant leading as documented by Greenleaf. Transformational

and magnetic signifiers of leading are illustrations of theoretical accounts that have been overshadowed by the popularity of servant leading theoretical account. The nature of leading in theological circles has been associated with uniqueness in most instances. Here, theologists are speedy to mention the differences portrayed by spiritual leading and common characteristics of leading in the secular universe.

It is from these characteristics that protagonists of servant leading Begin to appreciate the properties that were formulated by the conceiver of the construct in this state. Christians for case understand that God had a inclination of taking leaders with small bravery, instruction, and experience as exemplified by Gideon, the apostles, and David severally. This points out to the unexpected nature of leading qualities in spiritual rhythms, and why the properties of servant leading are easy justified. The properties include listening, empathy, consciousness, healing, community edifice, and conceptualisation, a committedness to the growing of followings, stewardship, foresight, and persuasion. These properties are typical illustrations of the uniqueness portrayed by servant leading as compared to other theoretical accounts.

Listening- apart from being a critical tool in communicating, a true servant leader must go to to issues by listening carefully before doing any decision.

Empathy- people grow spiritually and physically if they are appreciated for who they are. A true servant leader must, hence, put himself in the places of the other individual, and should ne'er reject their suggestions and feelings at all times.

Awareness- the property asserts that chances are easy lost, and other precedences get misplaced when the issue of consciousness is avoided.

Healing- 1 must happen ways through which integrity is instilled in their ain organic structures with an purpose of

using the same on others.

Persuasion- the theory suggests that persons should larn to make some sense of consensus through creativeness and less coercive ways. Servant leaders should, hence, avoid utilizing their powers to command the multitudes. They should alternatively utilize personal strengths and/or powers for the same intent.

Conceptualization- the property states that people should look for solutions to future jobs and non merely issues that exist in present times.

Foresight- persons are besides expected to possess accomplishments that accurately determine or predict what the hereafter holds for any group.

Stewardship- persons in this instance are expected to execute their responsibilities for the interest of the society apart from merely concentrating on the predicament of worlds in that peculiar group.

Constructing the community- as stated earlier, Greenleaf reminds us that the community is the lone avenue through which human facets can be materialized. The rise of many establishments in the modern-day universe has enhanced the disappearing of community ; therefore, people should reconstruct this of import factor.

Committedness to the growing of people- Greenleaf advocators for the demand to authorise and raise the people higher than they could of all time conceive of. It is a pure presentation of promoting and satisfying others.

These properties are clear manifestations of the behaviour observed in servant-leadership. They virtually stem from beliefs and values that a leader holds in a heartfelt way, and it is of import to observe that the values of equity and unity play a polar function in the full procedure. Leadership in this theoretical account depends on values that are synonymous with many spiritual histories from the yesteryear. It is besides indispensable to observe that many spiritual histories support servant

leading issues, but others help label the theoretical account as uneffective in the domain of spiritual leading. Another value that is prevailing in servant leading is known as a leader 's motive.

Motivation is ideally effectual in separating between the servant leading theoretical account and other leading theories. It emanates from nucleus beliefs held by the single whereby he is reminded that followings besides need the same degree of grasp that he gets. In other words, a leader is non better than his followings in any manner. Christianity provides a good illustration of such facets in the sense that Jesus washed the pess of his adherents. This shows that a leader should equilibrate between the authorization and humbleness. It does non connote that such leaders lack authorization or portray some sort of failing.

The personal values depicted by a leader are believed to be indispensable in determining the sort of civilization that is finally embraced by followings. Cultures created by leaders are so responsible for the ultimate image that joins beliefs, premises, and values together. A good leader should, hence, demonstrate discernible values through actions that slowly reassign these values to the followings over clip. A leader 's values as exemplified by Christ in the Christian faith are believed to be instrumental in originating alterations and other of import points of coherence.

Valuess in Servant Leadership

The importance posed by values in this theoretical account has raised concerns about whether theoretical values and their matter-of-fact histories promote the needed success in a Christian group or organisation. Research on the belief system demonstrated by leaders who pattern the theoretical account is ongoing with the chief purpose of foregrounding its supposed

effectivity. In simpler footings, Greenleaf 's political orientations are merely perforating the universe of leading, and they reflect old histories in spiritual issues.

By and large, the rhythm of going a leader in this dimension begins with the demand to function foremost. It is so followed by the aspiration of taking a given group with the highest component of humbleness. This means that a servant leader 's motive is characterized by service in all facets ; therefore, other issues come last. Buddhists, Christians and other spiritual leaders use the theoretical account to work out jobs on the planet. They begin their action by easy winning others people 's love, trust, and gratitude, before eventually transforming into leaders. Examples of such leaders include Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa.


The theoretical account is, nevertheless, vulnerable to unfavorable judgment like any other leading theory in both theological and secular scenes. To get down with, it is rather hard to follow the instructions of Greenleaf because there are several failings in his theory. On a platform of Christianity, it is argued that Greenleaf 's political orientations are a pure contemplation of the actions portrayed by Jesus Christ. It is, nevertheless, apparent that many actions that Christ observed in the New Testament contradict with the theological instructions of servant-leadership. It is believed that a new school of idea has been established with an purpose of seeking to understand the nature of Jesus. This group of people believes that Jesus possessed extremist humbleness, and he practically observed servant leading qualities.

However, it is of import to observe that Jesus merely showed humbleness to God and the same was non ever apparent in his interactions

with the people. He spoke with ultimate power and assurance, particularly when standing before the Pharisees and the high priests. He ne'er exhibited all the kineticss discussed in the theory, and this symbolizes some failings in the theoretical account. Greenleaf 's divinity of servant leading can be classified as a modern-day merchandise of applied psychological science, existential philosophy and/or eastern mysticism. These are the chief issues that have influenced the presence of recognition for the theory in many spiritual establishments.

Many people claim that they have had the chance to see assorted spiritual establishments where the servant leading is mentioned, but the existent definition had ever escaped their attending. Everyone speaks about servant leading, but the nucleus constructs are non understood by many. This points to the trouble encountered in seeking to stay by the regulations of servant leading in spiritual or secular scenes. In simpler footings, the theory consists of several properties, values, and considerations that can non be easy embraced by any mean human.

It is believed that servant leading is someway justified by the complex nature portrayed by religious and spiritual affairs. In other words, the theory easy applies to religious affairs as compared to secular scenes. The agitation is created by the trouble posed in separating between spiritualty and faith. However, even after faith and spiritualty are differentiated, the theory still has the potency for beliing the religious dispositions observed by single followings. It is besides of import to oppugn the matter-of-fact relevancy of the theory in modern-day issues that affect both the layman and spiritual positions of an person.

The modern universe is characterized by several facets that depend on an person 's

attempt and worth. Capitalism and its demands is a typical illustration of how modern secular issues can impact the servant leading kineticss that are demanded by a given faith. In capitalist economy, every person is made to seek his ain endurance, and therefore, servant leading may go irrelevant. Greenleaf 's divinity of servant leading besides fails to detect that persons possess different capacities and abilities, and we all can non run on the same degree. There are assorted degrees of competency in any given scene, and this should non be ignored. Simply put, servant leading ignores the issue of answerability and its importance in any scene. Many research workers contend that servant leading may turn out to be effectual, but it lacks empirical informations to back up its effectivity.

Apart from missing empirical informations, it is besides apparent that the theoretical account lacks a clear and systematic definition ; therefore, more empirical research is needed in a command to warrant its constituents. It is besides regarded as a theory that has remained stuck in philosophical evidences for long. Some research workers have since embarked on developing more reasonable theoretical accounts of the theory, but more research is still indispensable. Additionally, it may be necessary to postulate that servant leading fundamentally reduces religious facets of faith into ethical considerations. Servant leading in a existent sense seems to be relevant merely in footings of warranting the facet of humanisation across any given scene.

Theory Support

Many research workers contend that servant leading is in a better place to turn to many issues that perchance weaken other leading theoretical accounts. It is, nevertheless, of import to observe that advocates of the

theoretical account in both spiritual and secular universes seldom speak out its effectivity on a degree that can be termed as effectual. In that instance, the lone avenue of justification usually touches on the person, organisational, and social demands that identify with religious and moral evidences. As stated earlier, servant leading is based on the life and instructions of Jesus and it is, hence, easy to use at the spiritual or religious degree.

This is due to the compatibility that is evidenced between church leading and theoretical precincts of servant leading. Most of the literature touching on the theoretical account implies that the motive behind the theory is profoundly rooted in the failings that live inside any typical human being. It is apparent that several misinterpretations are apparent in the relationship portrayed by most persons, particularly in a state of affairs where one is a leader and the other is low-level. These failings have the possible to weaken leading qualities in the Christian rhythms where participants follow the constructs of other theoretical theoretical accounts.

The failings addressed by servant leading include the high chance of judgement mistakes by an person, selfish involvement and pride on the portion of a leader, and the possibility of making low-level relationships that are unhealthy. Subordinate relationships easy turn rancid, particularly in traditional hierarchal apparatuss. In a command to beef up an statement for servant leading, advocates are speedy to mention illustrations of leading failures that resulted from self-seeking leading theoretical accounts. The illustrations are prevailing in modern society and scope from the church to other secular organisations that do non encompass servant leading. Servant leading, therefore, ensures that the leader is

able to get away these defects in the best manner possible. For case, the leader evades these defects by constructing a sense of consensus, and besides authorising his/her followings in that peculiar set-up.

In other words, the servant leader believes that there is something brilliant about every follower ; therefore, he is non of import than anyone s/he leads. Position power has been associated with several mistakes in many organisations ; therefore, leaders should larn to arise their motive and influence from values. Servant leading is besides praised for its `` holistic '' attack on the follower in both secular and spiritual environments. This means that servant leading caters for both religious and economic demands that the follower has. Advocates of the theoretical account on a secular land are besides speedy to mention that the universe is full of uncertainness and instability in many organisations. Scandals and layoffs are the order of the twenty-four hours ; therefore, they emit force per unit areas that in bend affect the relationship between a leader and his followings. The force per unit areas and confusion are responsible for the heightened emphasis that is posed in many relationships that advocate for traditional hierarchal theoretical accounts. The most extremely recommended solution for such scenarios lies in psychological stableness and predictability, and moral and ethical precincts. Servant leading is the lone avenue through which these issues can be addressed.

Research workers besides contend that both secular and spiritual environments have witnessed a turning tendency in religious dispositions amongst many persons. This means that the demand for authorising followings and developing their personality is besides extremely apparent. Servant leading is in the best place

to fulfill these demands given that all these environments are guided by a leader 's beliefs, values and actions. As a affair of fact, many organisations are being occupied with religious followings and that means that a spiritually hearty leader is required. Servant leading is the lone avenue through which a spiritual and inspirational leader can be nurtured and this means that modern-day organisational environments are set to profit. Servant leading is seen as a theory that found its manner into the spotlight back in the sixtiess.

However, the theory has stamped its authorization in recent times and many people feel that it ideal for all times. From all indicants, servant leading is a befitting option for the traditional hierarchal theoretical accounts of the yesteryear. Since organisations are continually change overing from larger constructions to smaller 1s, in order to run into the demands of a competitory concern environment, an effectual option is needed. Servant leading is based on authorising followings, teamwork, and inspiration ; therefore, it serves as the ideal option.

Theory Comparison

Transformational leading is in most instances compared to servant leading due to their several kineticss. Transformational leading was introduced by James Burns in 1978 and subsequently improved by Bernard Bass, in 1985. Transformational leading is presently really popular and can be ranked as effectual in footings of presenting alterations merely like the servant leading theoretical account. This may be attributed to the fact that transformational leading enhances leading features and human values possessed by the followings. The two leading theoretical accounts, therefore, autumn under the magnetic class described by Max Weber.

They are termed as magnetic leading theoretical accounts given the fact that they base

on the qualities and behavior portrayed by a given leader. It is, nevertheless, of import to observe that servant leading and transformational leading theoretical accounts posses several differences. They are termed as complimentary theoretical accounts in that they both focus on an person 's part. Authorization and grasp of followings and features of leading are embraced in the theoretical accounts, but their attacks differ in footings of the sort of motive observed, aims, civilization, and other kineticss. The motive behind a leader 's actions is stated as the biggest difference between the two leading theoretical accounts. In a transformational theoretical account, the leader is motivated by the demand to happen or accomplish the ends of that peculiar organisation. On the other manus, leaders in the servant leading theoretical account are motivated by an intense desire to authorise their followings.

It is, nevertheless, of import to observe that the latter is besides applied in the transformational leading theoretical account in a command to happen organisational ends. In servant leading authorization of followings and developing their personalities is seen as the chief aim of a given establishment. In other words, self realization of the followings becomes the ultimate end in any servant-leadership scene. This implies that transformational leading is fundamentally inclined towards production in favor of the people, but servant leading prioritizes the people over the facet of production. The effects of these attacks are, therefore, edge to slop over to other countries including the manner used in mensurating success within a peculiar organisation.

It is, hence, apparent that in servant leading success is measured in footings of felicity and satisfaction portrayed by the followings, while transformational leading measures

accomplishments in footings of organisational aims that are realized. Servant leading theoreticians contend that the step of success used by the transformational theoretical account is an indirect but of import deduction that consequences from followings who are satisfied. As stated earlier, the two theoretical accounts besides result in changing cultural deductions and environments for a given organisation. The precincts and points of consideration stated in the transformational theoretical account trade with public presentation and inspiration ; therefore, a dynamic civilization of authorization is created.

On the other manus, the components of servant leading consequence in a religious civilization that is fostered by emphasizing on shared leading that creates a good relationship between the leader and the follower. Simply put, a healthy civilization of followership is the attendant consequence in the servant leading theoretical account. This civilization is synonymous with spiritualism and this indicates why Christians should encompass it in both economic and religious personal businesss. The contextual compatibility of the two theoretical accounts ; therefore, differs a great trade. This means that both theoretical accounts work good in certain environments as opposed to compatibility with all environments.

Common sense suggests that non-profit organisations, churches, and community service ventures are best suited for the servant leading attack. The transformational leading theoretical account on the other manus, is best suited for competitory corporate environments that require changeless development and invention. Additionally, the servant leading theoretical account can work good in public service establishments due deficiency of the net income component in most instances. Typical illustrations of successful application of the theory have been associated with non-profit doing establishments like schools.

Robert K. Greenleaf-Roots of the Theoretical Account

Robert K. Greenleaf was

born in 1904 in Terre Haute. He was born and raised in a household that observed community service, strong moralss, and morality. This was exemplified by his male parent 's, George K. Greenleaf, engagement in both community and economic personal businesss. George was active in local political relations, served in several local school boards, and besides worked at the metropolis council. He rose through several ranks to go the caput of the engineering school where he worked. From these indicants we see that Robert Greenleaf surely adopted some of his male parent 's traits. These include blending with mean workers on the manner up.

George showed that a good leader is one who serves foremost, and is besides preoccupied with authorising his followings. The leading qualities of Greenleaf became apparent back in 1922 when he became the president of his category at Wiley high school. He graduated from Minnesota 's Carleton College in 1926 and subsequently discovered Quakerism at age 30. He besides worked at AT & A ; T and became the manager of the company in 1938. At the establishment, he was in charge of descrying and developing possible directors. During this stretch, Greenleaf learnt that great leaders are driven by both ego and squad involvements. They besides display good ethical features and regard for all. After retiring in 1964, Greenleaf established the Robert K. Greenleaf Center in a command to advance apprehension of the leading kineticss. His 2nd calling involved direction consultancy and talks. One of his singular clients at the consultancy house included the Ford foundation.


Greenleaf interacted with university pupils in the 1960 's and after asking what they were analyzing, he

stumbled upon some important information. During this period he read Herman Hesse 's Journey to the E and that is where the thought of servant leading originated from. The narrative involves a set of people shiping on a fabulous journey. They are accompanied by Leo who is besides the retainer in the group and does uneven responsibilities for them. Apart from making the humble responsibilities, Leo besides sustains the group with his spirit and vocals. He is seen as the retainer but his influential visual aspect portrays him as a cardinal figure in the full journey.

In the book it is stated that all goes good until Leo eventually disappears. The journey is finally abandoned since they could non go on without Leo. The group struggles to happen Leo and he is taken to the Order that financed the journey in the first topographic point. At this occasion, Greenleaf was able to state that Leo was the caput of the Order, and besides a great leader. It was a clear indicant of how great leaders are preoccupied with functioning the people foremost. True leaders help others foremost and that is their most cardinal desire. He began composing about servant leading in the long tally, and his book was published in 1970. In the first topographic point, 200 transcripts were published, but due to public demand the volume was increased. Half a million transcripts have since been sold and distributed all over the Earth. In 1974, he came up with two more publications including the Institution as Servant and Trustees as retainer.


Servant leading has been applied widely in many domains of the society. The Greenleaf Center is

a non-profit organisation charged with educating people about the importance of servant leading. The organisation has recorded considerable success in carrying people about the advantages of servant leading but challenges still persist. The challenges stem organize the fact that it is hard to rate a leader based on interior values as opposed to external properties and values. In other words, the success or failure of servant leading is determined by the personal values depicted by persons playing the function. The inquiry of using the theory in existent life demands to be addressed in order to extinguish uncertainties held by many people. ITRC is an information engineering think armored combat vehicle in a university charged with guaranting that the university keeps track with new developments in the industry.

The house develops technological merchandises for schools and private establishments. Recently the house received a grant from a local organisation to develop synergistic platforms or booths that will educate the populace about an approaching undertaking. A coder was put in charge of the undertaking, but he failed to detect servant leading traits. As a consequence the development of Kiosks and the felicity portrayed by the squad were the chief effects. The coder was extremely directing despite holding a squad that was capable of creativeness and besides enthusiastic for the undertaking. His expertness applied even in topographic points that ne'er matched his strength and ability. Similarly, he did non accept recommendations from his squad if they ne'er matched his will. The squad was willing and extremely motivated, but the attack applied by the coder was inappropriate. He employed a hierarchal attack that supports the top-down sort of leading. After a

series of failures the coder was fired and in came another leader.

Dave came in as a new leader and was determined to spur the topographic point to greater highs. He came in with new experience from a direction school and besides recognized that servant leading could be an effectual method. He called everyone separately and construct a resonance with everyone. He subsequently made everyone free with him and besides invited positions from everyone on how the house could be improved. Dave ensured that every person was empowered with the needed resource and besides felt of import in the group. In the event, the squad 's morale was boosted and everyone shared leading determinations. A few months subsequently, the house began to witness betterments in footings of followings ' felicity and completion of booths. The undertaking was successful in the long tally and all this was attributed to servant leading. Dave witnessed as members of his squad managed issues in the undertaking and referred to this as his ain success. He encouraged servant leading in his followings through functioning others.


Servant leading is seen as an interesting theory of leading that can use in both spiritual and secular scenes. It represents a leading theoretical account that identifies with the life of Christ ; therefore, Christianity becomes compatible with the theoretical account. The definition of the term provides a beliing matter since the two footings are the antonym of each other. The importance portrayed by the theoretical account is seen in its mass entreaty and empirical grounds retrieved from bing organisations. It is besides of import to observe that the theoretical account poses some failings as witnessed in

the unfavorable judgments levelled against it.

The theory is normally compared with the transformational theoretical account due to some similarities that are apparent in the theoretical account. The transformational theoretical account is normally motivated by consequences for the organisation, while the servant leading theoretical account is motivated by follower 's felicity. By and large, the servant leading theoretical account is effectual by virtuousness of the range and magnitude of support in its favor.

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