Needed! Servant Leaders for the Corporate World

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Servant-Leadership > Forum > Needed! Servant Leaders for the Corporate World

Needed! Servant Leaders for the Corporate World
Rajiv Prasad
Too often we see corporates turning to the "new buzz" in corporate management concepts almost like cows in a herd.
Hence, we see a lot of concepts such as servant leadership being adapted to suit the corporate strategy whilst at the same time keeping parameters of age-old concepts such as viewing organisations as "well-oiled machines" where each brick fits in the wall (or is made to fit or thrown out as the case may be).
Servant leadership by its very essence suggests that leaders and people who are in powers of authority need to tone down on the concept of scorecards being the final verdict in judging employee performance. SL instead suggests to aspiring participants to keep in mind the key metrics while adopting the more humble and consultative approach to enriching the experience of the internal clients - being the employees under the participant's authority.

Developing Countries and the Buzz Paradox
Nassir Mozdic Jamal Dr., Management Consultant, Kenya, Member
Cannot be described better than Rajiv Prasad - Australia has. One week of paid tour to a developed country and the senior civil servant returns. "Transformed managers'" and are fully charged in their Theory X style to shove down the system, the unpublished version of Servant Leadership. 4 years back 'Kaizen' was the clichei, minus the 5S and 'muda'. That was of course before they were experts in ''Business Process Re-engineering' and 'Staff Rationalization''. Ending up rehiring the retrenched hr. On and off oscillating between Ouchi's Theory Z and the search for 'Assistance in Ideas' from the developed countries-east or west does not matter-whoever comes first and fast.

Servant Leadership - a Personal Style, not a Corporate Culture
David Green, Project Manager, United States, Member
It is unfortunate that corporations continue to change their culture to "the next great idea" as it confuses employees, and creates a sense of "here we go again". My view on servant leadership, or any leadership style for that matter, is that each leader needs to find the technique or style that matches who (s)he is.

Servant Leadership is the Essential Ethos of the Military
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
I agree with you that the corporate world adopts and discards the newest whiz bang in notions about leadership, but servant leadership is the coin of the realm in the military. The service in servant leadership is to the Mission: the means for accomplishing that Mission is the Men/personnel. The care and feeding of Men/personnel falls into the same category as the right to keep and bear arms. There is very little that is sentimental or notional about it, as is the case and luxury of the corporate classes.
The relationship of the Self to Men/personnel is the relationship of Abraham to Isaac: the necessity to sacrifice the Men/personnel for the Mission is the nature of Duty.
The difference between the corporate grasp of the concept of servant leadership and the military embrace of it is the difference between George McClellan and Grant. And Lee, for that matter. In the corporate realm, leadership can be an affectation: in the military, leadership is the reason for being.
As I have observed elsewhere, esprit de corps is the most violated management principle in the corporate culture and this abuse begins in this difference between the ethos of the corporate and military cultures.

And they Probably Wonder Why the Military Succeeds..
Brett E Holdeman, Student (University), United States, Premium Member
I agree wholeheartedly, Tom!
I wish I had seen, other than from myself (and boy, was I second-guessed) in the Nat'l Guard how servant leadership was employed. I used it several years later, in the VA, of all places, to serve my peers and superiors, as well as our brothers- and sisters-in-arms.
I am a firm believer in its power and simplicity, for it had a lasting, positive effect on those I left behind, and when we get together, they remind me of how much they miss me, and beg me to return. I have been a doctoral researcher for the past five years, and the literature indicates that servant leadership is much more than the flavor of the day; it has the potential for garnering the best from five generations of workers, each motivated by varying rewards and inducements. I found servant leadership effective with fellow boomers, Gen X and Y, and the few millennials I have employed it with.
I do know I am respected in my church, by young and old, for my leadership style, modeled after Jesus!

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