Leaders must know when to adapt. This is where self-awareness plays a big part. In a word, they need balance. Extreme is almost never the answer.
Greenleaf 's idea of servant-leadership, now in its fourth decade as a concept bearing that name, continues to create a quiet revolution in workplaces around the world.
Since the time of the Industrial Revolution, managers have tended to view people as tools, while organizations have considered workers as cogs in a machine.
In the past few decades we have witnessed a shift in that long-held view. In countless for-profit and nonprofit organizations today we are seeing traditional, autocratic, and hierarchical modes of leadership yielding to a different way of working--one based on teamwork and community, one that seeks to involve others in decision making, one strongly based in ethical and caring behavior, and one that is attempting to enhance the personal growth of people while improving the caring and quality of our many institutions.
This emerging approach to leadership and service began with Greenleaf. Greenleaf Center in and is now headquartered in Indianapolis.
Slowly but surely, Greenleaf 's servant-leadership writings have made a deep, lasting impression on leaders, educators, and many others who are concerned with issues of leadership, management, service, and personal growth. Standard practices are rapidly shifting toward the ideas put forward by Greenleaf, as witnessed by the work of Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, Max DePree, Margaret Wheatley, Ken Blanchard, and many others who suggest that there is a better way to lead and manage our organizations.
Greenleaf's writings on the subject of servant-leadership helped to get this movement started, and his views have had a profound and growing effect on many people. The idea of the servant as leader came partly out of Greenleaf's half-century of experience in working to shape large institutions.
After reading this story, Greenleaf concluded that its central meaning was that the great leader is first experienced as a servant to others, and that this simple fact is central to the leader's greatness.
True leadership emerges from those whose primary motivation is a deep desire to help others. In his works, Greenleaf discusses the need for a better approach to leadership, one that puts serving others--including employees, customers, and community--as the number one priority.
Servant-leadership emphasizes increased service to others, a holistic approach to work, promoting a sense of community, and the sharing of power in decision making. When two opposites are brought together in a creative and meaningful way, a paradox emerges.
Greenleaf said that the servant-leader is one who is a servant first. In "The Servant as Leader" he wrote, "It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.
Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant--first to make sure that other people's highest-priority needs are being served.
The best test is: Do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived? Characteristics of the Servant-Leader After some years of carefully considering Greenleaf 's original writings, I have extracted the following set of characteristics central to the development of servant-leaders:"As many small trickles of water feed the mightiest of rivers, the growing number of individuals and organizations practicing servant-leadership has increased into a torrent, one that carries with it a deep current of meaning and passion.
Robert K. Greenleaf 's idea of servant-leadership, now in its fourth decade as a concept bearing that name, . Ah, but super-human AI is not the only way Moloch can bring our demise.
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“The great leader is seen as servant first” – Robert K. Greenleaf The above quote lays its premise on a leadership theory that has gone to challenge traditional leadership models. Servant leadership is not entirely a new concept or a way to lead, but it hasn’t been intentionally applied until in recent decades when the idea took off in force.