Functions of Servant Leadership
Servant leadership is among the most controversial topics in management. In particular, the corresponding theory claims that a leader must be strong enough to understand all weaknesses of their subordinates. Such a concept can be realized only if a leader has a mature personality that helps them with spotting needs of other people. Nevertheless, servant leadership is the most important managerial concept that is crucial for every organization that strives for a long-term existence on the market.
A leader is an individual, who has correct aims, while the actions of this person have a particular meaning. In such a manner, Northouse explains that a leader must apply various tactics to unlock the hidden potential of their subordinates (226). Thus, servant leadership theory concentrates completely on the leader’s conduct and its influence on other people’s future. In their successful future, all dependent individuals feel that they have been treated ethically and fairly. In fact, a leader must pass their knowledge to developing personalities so that they grow into autonomous individuals who can prepare the new generation of healthy and happy individuals (Northouse 226). However, this purpose is not an easy task because all people have different characters and life experience.
In such a manner, every leader must possess a certain combination of qualities that allow them to find an approach to the group of people. Thus, Northouse claims that an executive must have seven various abilities, such as healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, and commitment, that can ensure a productive mentoring (228). Healing means that a leader is able to create a friendly atmosphere in the organization, where all members know that they can trust each other and rely on one another. Awareness presupposes that a leader knows their strengths and weaknesses and uses the individual potential in the most suitable way, designed for others. Conceptualization assists in building the company’s vision, while foresight ensures its future planning based on its available historical data. Finally, commitment means that a leader does not abandon the objective of people’s constant growth, facing various problems; thus, they are always dedicated to the final outcome, which can be achieved only through persistent efforts.
On the other hand, a genuine leader must cause certain emotions in people’s hearts for them to value their leader’s opinion. In particular, such a person has a direction that everybody wants and strives to follow. Thus, according to Coetzer et al., people will be motivated to make some progress only if they are sure that their actions add value for the community (2). Such an attitude helps them to see their input to the group’s achievements, and individuals are inspired because they understand a change that they make by investing their time into their work.
Servant leadership helps to develop an attitude that presupposes an efficient functioning of an enterprise. One of leader’s main tasks is to delegate as many duties as possible to the subordinates. According to Sousa and Van Dierendonck, a self-confidant and mature leader trusts other people and knows that they can take responsibility for their actions (15). As a result, they are respected by all individuals and they behave in a humble manner since they feel that all persons have strong sides to be uncovered.
In conclusion, leaders are not allowed to concentrate on their personalities because their main mission is to uncover other people’s skills. Moreover, they can do it only in the manner that shows respect and trust to those who depend on them. Thus, a leader must know how to serve the subordinates so that they could discover their individual potential in the atmosphere of friendship and consistency. However, psychologically stable surroundings are the direct reflection of a leader’s maturity and their ability to be humble with others who have found themselves in more dependent position.
Coetzer, Frederick, et al. “The Functions of a Servant Leader.” Administrative Sciences, vol. 24, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-32.
Northhouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. 7th ed., SAGE Publications, Inc., 2016.
Sousa, Milton, and Dirk van Dierendonck. “Servant Leadership and the Effect of the Interaction Between Humility, Action, and Hierarchical Power on Follower Engagement.” Springer, vol. 141, no. 1, 2015, pp. 13-25.