Indiana Wesleyan University
MGT 441 – Philosophy of Corporate Culture
Facilitator: Nick Ipock
June 21, 2012
Leadership today takes many forms and has numerous definitions and styles. Servant Leadership, though not a new concept, is at the forefront of discussion from leaders and observers around the globe. The final paper for Philosophy of Corporate Culture focused on the steps necessary for successful change implementation. This paper will expand upon the idea of Servant Leadership and whether it will help or hurt change implementation within a given organization.
Prior to any discussion about the qualities, actions, and ...view middle of the document...
Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage." Jesus, our clear model, displayed the true servant leadership principles of collaboration, empowerment, and service to others. He was not here to build His kingdom but that of His heavenly Father. When Jesus spoke of leadership He always talked about serving. Even in His own role of leadership, he served those He came to lead. This kingdom was not built so that He could be the focal point and receive our worship. He spoke of laying down His life and not exalting it. In Matthew 23:11-12 Jesus tells us that the greatest among us will be the servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted (NIV). This standard of leadership is contrary to the modern humanistic version.
Servant Leadership is more than just sharing a compelling vision. The servant leader must live the vision. This type of leadership is more about practice and less about position. The servant leader sees the potential in others then mobilizes and inspires them to share in the vision. Developing the team is important but a servant leader is just as interested in people development as he or she is about accomplishing the vision or people’s performance. A great leader will replicate themselves in others and a servant leader will produce other servant leaders. They always prepare others to take the reins. Their mindset propels them to work themselves out of the job! Again, Jesus showed us this example with the disciples. He developed them, and then made a place for them in history.
Many authorities on the subject of servant leadership suggest that this type of leader is actually an art, or more specifically, a calling, and not easily broken down into a formula or a science. However, Kouzes and Pozner are able to qualify some of the given practices of this type of leadership down to five basic practices (Kouzes & Posner, Christian Reflections on The Leadership Challenge, 2004):
1) A leader must model the way by aligning actions with values.
2) Inspire a shared vision by imagining exciting possibilities and enlisting others.
3) Challenge the process by taking risks and seeking innovative ways to change, grow, and improve.
4) Enable others to act by fostering collaboration, building trust, and strengthening others by sharing power.
5) Encourage the heart, showing appreciation and celebrating values and victories.
A friend of mine, Dr. Larry Lindsay and his colleague Mark A. Smith, wrote in their book Leading Change in Your World, a leader must display authenticity, value people, develop people, build community, provide leadership, and share leadership (Lindsay & Smith, 2010). In my opinion, successful change implementation requires servant leadership and the spirit of the...