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The Concept of Servant Leadership

Servant leadership, according to Christians, is a form of leadership that was exemplified by Jesus. However, servant leadership is a philosophical leadership theory pioneered by Robert Greenleaf in 1970. Servant leadership advocates for a leader to be a servant before leading others. A servant leader has empathy, care and is always concerned about his followers more than the power bestowed on him or her. Servant leadership entails listening, empathy, awareness, care, persuasion, and to some extent healing of people’s souls. A servant leader should be compassionate enough to provide service to others, advocate for social responsibility towards the entire community, and be humble enough to share power (Schaap, 2008). Since servant leadership entails being a servant to the community, a leader should listen to others and acknowledge when he or she makes mistakes. Philosophical leadership theory views that if a leader is concerned and critical of the employees’ wellbeing, employees will reciprocate this by being more productive and reliable at their work place.

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Servant leadership is compatible with other religions’ points of view. For instance, the transformational leadership theory entails transforming the workers by raising their awareness and consciousness. This can be achieved by a leader involving and understanding the employees fully, and handling any matter that might be affecting them. Transformational leadership requires a leader to act as a role model to employees and serve as an inspiration to all workers (Hawkinson & Johnston, 1993). This cannot be achieved if the leader does not act as a servant or is autocratic in his leadership. Transformational form of leadership requires leaders to stimulate their employees intellectually and give the employees individual attention and consideration. This is only achievable if a leader is inquisitive and open to his employees. This is easily done if the leader is more of a servant than an autocrat. This clearly shows for one to be an efficient and reliable leader it is paramount that he freely associates with the employees. It is important for a leader to exercise servant leadership in order to be a good leader. Since, in transformational leadership, the leader is central to shaping the employee’s coordination; thus, it is necessary for the leader to be a servant first in order for him/her to understand his or her subjects.

In the university, the vice chancellor or officers interact from time to time with the students. They enquire about what the students would like to be improved or what the university council is not doing to solve the intricate issues affecting the students. This is a good example of servant leadership as emulated by the university body. The governing university leaders allow students to elect their own student leaders and delegate some duties to them. This shows that the university council is humble enough to delegate duties to others and not seize all the power amongst them. The university council also on occasion organizes workshops and seminars where employees and management interact freely and share ideas across the board. This enhances performance by all employees and gives the leader a platform to access his/her employees conclusively. In the university, it is clear that servant leadership is required at the student body level or the university body level.

One may see servant leadership in the captains of different teams. Although captains for different clubs may be better paid or highly elevated by the coaches, it is evident that they exercise servant leadership. All the captains try as hard as possible to be on good terms with their fellow teammates. Captains enquire into their teammate’s wellbeing and the events they undertake before attending the practices session or any game. This helps them in knowing their teammates better, that is their strengths and weaknesses in the field. In a field, a captain is the president and only second to the coach as a CEO is to a company and only second to the shareholders. A captain should, therefore, formulate working strategies for them to work together and compete with an aim of achieving success. All captains should be servants to their teams in order to get the best out of every teammate and to consolidate them to achieve success.

A leader is a role model to employees and to other third parties. Many individuals, therefore, look up to them. Leaders should thus be very careful about their image to other people. A university professor dresses and behaves very well as his academic prowess entails. This shows his pedigree and sets the pace to be followed by the other students he or she may be teaching. Self awareness is important to a leader; therefore, a leader should try not to be late or utter bad comments about others as this might not usher well with the employees (Schermerhorn et al, 2003). Control of emotions is also another important subject as a leader is not supposed to lead through emotions, but sound examination of the facts examined. Since the decisions made by a leader have severe repercussions in some cases, it is important for leaders to examine the facts and not rule through emotions.


Hawkinson, J., & Johnston, R. (1993). Servant leadership. Chicago: Covenant Pub.

Schaap, J. (2008). Servant leadership. Hammond: Hyles Publications.

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Schermerhorn, J. R., Osborn, R., & Hunt, J. G. (2003). Organizational behavior. New York: Wiley

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