Emerging As A Servant Leader Essay

892 words - 4 pages

Traditional theories of leadership include the great man, power bases, skills approach, style approach, contingency, and path-goal theories. Those are all very objectively based, not looking at the individual’s experiences, wants, needs, and idiosyncrasies. Then the emerging leadership theories came along, viewing leaders as unique individuals, instead of positions within an organization. These theories are relationship-heavy, focusing on the interactions between the leaders and the followers as something fragile, instead of surface-level. There has been a movement within management and leadership theories over the past century that focuses on the intangibles – trust, loyalty, respect, ...view middle of the document...

d.; Nihilism, 2010)? Can someone be a nihilist and a servant leader? This would cause cognitive dissonance. By being a nihilist, an individual asserts there is nothing of value in life, nothing to be valued. Both Christianity and servant leadership place a value on serving others, in whatever way that is appropriate.
There are variants of nihilism, including “Ethical nihilism…, [which] rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values” (Nihilism, 2010). Since morals are nonexistent to nihilists, could those who practice transformational leadership be servant leaders then? According to The Leadership Challenge, yes. “Transforming leadership ultimately becomes moral in that it raises the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration of both the leader and the led” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p. 122). This aligns with the assertion that others should “grow as persons,… become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to be servants” through servant leadership (Greenleaf, 2002). Servant and transformational leadership could be considered siblings; they are both based on helping others, but with different phrasing. Servant leadership places focus on serving others; transformational leadership focuses on inspiring others [emphasis added] (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).
Could someone of another religious worldview be a servant leader? If he is a Buddhist, possibly. Although Buddhism does not completely blend with servant leadership like Christianity, it complements it. Servant leadership is relational and Buddhism “has an emphasis on the interrelatedness of all creation and humanity” (Wallace, 2007, p. 124). However, Buddhism does not explicitly state to help others, just not to “ignore the interdependence of all things” (Wallace, 2007, p. 124). Buddhism is a closer match to servant leadership than Hinduism, which has the caste system that some see as an injustice to individuals (Wallace, 2007). Therefore, Christianity really is...

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