Servant Leadership Theory: Robert K. Greenleaf

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Servant Leadership is a leadership theory that was first presented by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. Northouse (2017) describes this leadership model as when, “servant leaders place the good of followers over their own self-interest and emphasise follower development” (p. 226). The servant leadership model includes ten characteristics for leaders to use to implement this approach. These characteristics are; listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community. The emergency services field (law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services) is a field that is focused on serving others, and is a field that benefits greatly from…show more content…
In these positions, the duty of the job calls for employees to be exposed to some of the worst circumstances. High risk calls such as responding to and entering a burning home, responding to an active shooter, or emotional taxing calls like responding to the death of a child or a gruesome crime. These incidents are emotionally taxing for the human mind, but it is what emergency service personnel deal with on a regular basis. Due to this exposure, personnel can be negatively impacted by the duties of the job. According to Mark St. Hilaire (2012), “burnout or compassion fatigue has a major effect on many caretaking professions such as the medical profession, clergy and public safety.” Those working in the field of emergency services need a leader who understands what they are facing and demonstrates the compassion needed to address this burn out. A leader needs to be able to connect with those they lead to establish a relationship that can address burnout that many in the field may experience. In a research brief written by the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, “leaders who practice servant leadership tend to be more trusted and are more effective in creating a culture of trust required to increase or maintain high staff morale” (2012). The benefit for leaders to utilize servant leadership is that they are able to establish a relationship of trust with their personnel, put the employees needs first, and create an environment where personnel know that they matter, which ultimately leads to higher staff morale. When people know that they matter, they feel better and find fulfillment in the work they

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