14 Sep Servant Leadership
Be the servant leader.
Robert Greenleaf founded the Servant-leadership models based on the
values, ideals and beliefs of the Quakker Religion. He first used the term in his 1970 essay “The Servant as Leader”.
In essence he outlined a model to bring the human relations, relationships, and people counselling
techniques to the corporate world where such ’emotional components’ were previously deemed worthless and irrelevant. Or in many instances they
were coined ‘gutsy’, ‘gut instinct’ and courage from within.
“The servant-leader practices described in the literature are designed to enact the core servant-leadership ethics or values,
which are to share decision-making, to be caring and to enhance the lives of workers and the quality of organizational life (Spears, 2003).”
Like all leadership styles that wish to be adopted the person needs to look at, understand, and then excercise accordingly to the values defined by that leadership belief system. The interesting aspect of the Servant Leadership model is that it is empathically founded rather than logistically directive.
A human behaviour not readily understood, let alone ‘allowed’ in many professionals let alone people.
So as a coach how do you enable ‘traditional right brain thinkers’ to transition to ‘left brain empaths’?
The values of the Servant Leader are people centric; caring and developing people to enable greater outcomes.
The practices of a Servant Leader include;
– active listening, empathy, healing, awareness(intuition), guideance, absence of judgement, acceptance, empowering, integrity
So what type of person must a servant leader be? An investigation into the Emotional Continuum suggests that persons with Inoperative/ineffective emotions management
do not have the basic traits necessary; such as, Inability to use language related to emotion.
But can those languages be taught to people who have traditionally been encouraged not to be emotive, not to be reflective, open and aware? Yes, it can to a certain extent.
Initiatlly working with leaders they often first find it difficult to adopt a new language. Some may only ever evolve to ‘sympathetic’ rather than ’empathetic’
and they may become tolerant but not completely without judgement. It’s a start.
And empathy is often a very hard exercise to learn. I’ve found that many can ‘sympathise and tolerate’ but not ‘empathise’.
‘Empaths’ have an inherent emotional trait of which psychology hasn’t quite worked out yet where it’s from or how to recreate,
except for maybe tragedies tend be great instigators for building empathy. This is why ‘safe to fail’ environment is such an
important piece of the medicine in todays leadership transitions. Exposing tragedy brings trueths alive and forces humans to have a conversation about what happened.
This in turn initiates the reflection component which triggers our learning brain and natural human behaviours to recover and survive from bad situations.