What Is Servant Leadership?


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The Mudd Partnership Presents:
What Is Servant Leadership?

In earlier Blogs we have looked at Leadership Styles including Adaptive Leadership and in our next Blog in this series we are going to focus on Authentic Leadership. Right now though we are going to take a closer look at Servant Leadership.


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What Is Servant Leadership?

  1. 1. What is Servant Leadership? Share this Ebook! PRESENTS © 2013 The Mudd Partnership | www.themuddpartnership.com | @muddpartnership | www.fb.com/muddpartnership
  2. 2. Robert K Greenleaf first coined the phrase Servant Leadership in an essay published in 1970. The Servant Leader is a Servant first he wrote… “It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. The conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead”. Greenleaf argued that this individual was different from one who is a Leader- first, perhaps because the Leader-first needed to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. So, would a Servant Leader be Shakespeare’s Henry V or Prince Hal? As Prince Henry says in Henry 1V, Part 1 – Act 1, Sc 2, “… I imitate the sun , who doth permit base contagious clouds to smother up his beauty from the world”. Through his actions Hal is serving some other purpose and chooses not to reveal himself and what he truly feels. He’s having a fine time romping & carousing with Falstaff, Pistol & Bardolph et al. Yet this Prince of course, becomes Henry V who many would cite as a clear example of a Leader-first. Share this Ebook! © 2013 The Mudd Partnership | www.themuddpartnership.com | @muddpartnership | www.fb.com/muddpartnership
  3. 3. Greenleaf suggests that the Leader-first & the Servant-first are two extreme types and in between these archi-types are shadings and blends that are part of the, “Infinite variety of human nature” and represent the full spectrum of the Human Condition. The real difference manifests itself in the care taken by the Servant-first to make sure that other peoples’ highest priority needs are being served & the best test is then to ask whether those served grow as people? Do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous through experiencing this Leadership? And are they likely to become Servant Leaders themselves? There are also both Societal & Organisational dimensions at play here. For example, within the Servant Leadership model a question can be raised concerning the effect/impact on the least privileged, or least equipped? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived, or disenfranchised by such Leadership? Whilst on an organisational level, the challenge to Institutions and wider society as a whole is to both ask and answer the question of whether the capacity to serve and the very act of a Servant Leadership contributes towards creating greater personal and social resilience, together with social wellness. Big themes! Share this Ebook! © 2013 The Mudd Partnership | www.themuddpartnership.com | @muddpartnership | www.fb.com/muddpartnership
  4. 4. What Prince Henry was recognising in his journey from callow youth to future King, is that as a Leader he would become responsible not just to his immediate coterie and followers, but also to the wider society – His future Kingdom! When Hal continued with his metaphor of the Sun, saying (Act 1, Sc 2), “… When He pleases again to be himself, Being wanted, He may be more wondered at, by breaking through the foul and ugly mists of Vapours, that did seem to strangle Him.” He was giving voice and form to His internal conflict as he actively sought meaning and tried to understand his future role and purpose; how to reveal himself & then how to Act! We have already established in previous Blogs that the first responsibility of a Leader is to understand what is needed by defining reality. This was in fact one of the two fundamental needs identified by Peter Senge as being key to acquiring Personal Mastery in his book, „The Fifth Discipline‟ as we outlined in an earlier piece. As E M Forster might have written, “Connect All” to achieve a Common Purpose! Again that all important principle that informs our approach to working with Individuals, Teams, Organisations & Businesses. It’s Key! Share this Ebook! © 2013 The Mudd Partnership | www.themuddpartnership.com | @muddpartnership | www.fb.com/muddpartnership
  5. 5. For more details and a conversation with us about The Mudd Partnership’s work in developing and supporting Leadership, Contact us through The Mudd Partnership Website, by Email, or LinkedIn & let us make a compelling case for working with you! STOP PRESS: Also coming soon, Watch Out for The Mudd Partnership Takeaway – A new series of Blogs and Guest Blogs, e-Zines, You Tube posts & Digests bringing to you, “Inspiring Ideas 4 An Inspiring Life @Work @Play”: We will also be hosting a series of Super Performance Workshops at The Mudd Partnership Place over the next few months, so watch this space & follow us on Twitter @muddpartnership for further details. Share this Ebook! © 2013 The Mudd Partnership | www.themuddpartnership.com | @muddpartnership | www.fb.com/muddpartnership
  6. 6. Website : www.themuddpartnership.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/muddpartnership Facebook: www.facebook.com/themuddpartnership LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/931028?trk=tyah Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/themuddpartnership YouTube: www.youtube.com/themuddpartnership Share this Ebook! Questions? © 2013 The Mudd Partnership | www.themuddpartnership.com | @muddpartnership | www.fb.com/muddpartnership