Servant Leaders can Turn into Manipulators

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Servant Leaders can Turn into Manipulators
Andrea Kelly, Manager, Jamaica

Humans are intrinsically selfish, power seekers. And even when one starts out to seek the welfare of others, sometimes in the end one turns out to be a manipulator.
It is the "pedagogue of the oppressed" (Paulo Freire). The oppressed normally turn around to become the oppressor.
I also believe that the end result has to do with the intent and motive of the individual. These are often difficult to discern. However sometimes servant leaders who may or may not be in positions of authority rise up to change a situation. This is divinely bestowed.
Learning to put others above self is something that we have to practise and desire to want to achieve.

Self Fulfilling Assumptions
Daniel Loftin, Student (University), United States
The notion that human beings are intrinsically selfish seems to me to have an ideological basis. The idea of divine bestowal of the power to bring change is ideological as well.
These sorts of ideological assumptions often have the capacity to become self fulfilling, since our beliefs often predicate our actions and social participation. Putting others above oneself is a perpetuation of the dominance/submission paradigm which admittedly has plagued much of human society for millennia.

Servant Leadership is Good for Business and the World
Andrea Kelly, Manager, Jamaica
I think that it is more than a philosophy as we see these attitudes and actions quite vividly in the world today. Putting others above oneself has resulted in drastic influential and good change in the world.
Such attitude has changed behaviours from selfish to love for fellow men. It is the opposite of this quality that has caused a plague in human affairs and the results of such behaviour we clearly see in the world today and in businesses.

Manipulation by Servant Leaders
Christopher St. Cyr, Analyst, United States
Leadership: the process of influencing others by providing purpose, direction and motivation to accomplish the organizational mission. 'Manipulation of another' could also be phrased 'influencing another'.
I think the difference is whether the other person feels the influence worked for or against their own personal or professional interest.

Not All are Power-seeking
Brett E Holdeman, Student (University), United States
While many do seek power for their own selfish gains, servant leaders know who is their power - Christ - and find Him sufficient for precluding lording over others.
I have used servant leadership in a position in which I had no leadership role, per se, but as a former Marine, have always led by example. I saw verifiable results in those I served, and they, too, became more likely to serve those around them.
This speaks to the power and promise of servant leadership, when a Master's-degreed clerk can serve first, humbling himself for the betterment of his organizational unit, and when others saw my care and concern, emulated it for the greater good. I left that position after six years, for a promotion, but know in my heart and soul that I am missed.
That speaks to the future of servant leadership, and power of Christ to eliminate selfish, power-seeking motives, giving one the ability to be more Christ-like, and serve rather than be served!


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