Servant Leadership: Developing and Empowering
Gerald A. Thomas
MSL6040-12C-5: Current Issues in Leadership
Professor Janice Spangenburg
08 November 2013
Servant leadership is a foreign concept to most companies and organizations, however, that’s not the case in the United States Air Force. The Air Force prides itself in maintaining its core values; “Integrity First,” “Service Before Self” and “Excellence in All We Do.” Today, we will focus on “Service Before Self” and “service” is the key word in the previous sentence. If leaders truly embrace this kind of thought process, there would be fewer concerns for the organizations they lead. Subordinates would believe that they are ...view middle of the document...
d.) states that: “Leadership is the process of using social influence to organize a group of people toward common goals. Leaders point to the path to achieve goals and lead groups in order to accomplish objectives. Leaders may or may not have formal authority. According to the trait theory of leadership, certain human traits make people better leaders. Those traits said to be found in the most effective leaders are: intelligence, adjustment, extroversion, conscientiousness, openness to experiences, and general self-efficacy” (https://www.boundless.com/management/leadership/other-leadership-perspectives/servant-leadership).
What we can get from this statement by Spears is that first, the servant leader is not a throw rug. Subordinates and superiors just don’t walk all over this person; they respect and trust this person’s decisions and advice. Moreover, they believe that this person has a desire to build others up and not tear them down. This leader has a genuine concern for the people he or she serves, supervises, and follow. The servant leader is always looking out for the success of others; up, down and across the chain of command (leadership). After carefully defining the word leadership, I will now focus on how to best define what servant leadership really looks like.
When defining servant leadership, again, we will look at what Spears (n. d.) has to say about it. He states: “Servant leadership involves feeling responsible to the world and actively contributing to the well-being of people and communities. It begins with the feeling of wanting to serve. A servant leader looks at what people need and asks how to help people in order to solve problems and promote personal development. He or she places the main focus on people, because content and motivated people will be best able to reach their goals and fulfill expectations” (https://www.boundless.com/management/leadership/other-leadership-perspectives/servant-leadership).
For example, when I was an Air Force Recruiting Operations Superintendent, I had four Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) under my supervision as well as an Operations Branch. I made it a point to have a conference call each Monday to get a morale check and to see how well the business was going. Being able to only see what they were doing via a computer system, it encouraged them and let them know that I had true concerns for them and their workload. Each of these MEPS was geographically separated but from the quality of work and the enthusiasm presented, you would have never known that fact.
The manner in which Spears describe this word is consistent in how the writers of the Holy Bible describe the True Servant Leader; Jesus, also known as the Christ. First, however, we’ll look at how Jesus, Himself, describes what a servant leader is supposed to do. Jesus said the following in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10 and verse 45: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to...