Robert Greenleaf: Servant Leadership

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Leaders are often depicted as resolute, visionary, motivational, intent on reminding followers to get with the program or get off the team. And we 've all heard that it 's lonely at the top. No question that leaders may be called on to make difficult decisions and to demand compliance with those decisions. To fail to do so would, at times, be an unforgivable dereliction of duty. Servant-leadership, which may incorporate similar traits and approaches, operates from the perspective of leading for the best interest of the people or organization being led. Robert Greenleaf coined the term in a 1970 essay that drew a picture of a different kind of leader: The servant-leader is servant first... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions... The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature. The difference manifests …show more content…

I suspect that any leader would require a backbone of steel to invite a major rainmaker to leave the firm rather than to allow the rainmaker to put his or her own interests ahead of that of the firm as a whole. Difficult decisions remain to be made and implemented. Servant-leadership is not by any means weak leadership. How might a firm run under a servant-leadership approach differ from one run with a "me first" mentality? What do you suppose would happen to associate attrition? How do you imagine associates who did choose to leave such a firm would regard the firm? Would the firm likely be more or less stable? Would clients notice a difference? What 's

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