We’ll continue our exploration of various implementations of servant leadership begun in the previous post, where we examined “serve while leading” and “lead while serving.”
Whereas the notion of ‘while’ indicated somewhat parallel notions and activities of service and leadership operating within one’s role, the reality we explored is that more often they meld or mask one another and so lose their respective strengths, and responsibilities.
In this post, we’ll explore the more impactful dynamic of ‘by’ rather than ‘while.’ Continue reading “Servant ~by~ Leadership”
The more time I spend with the concept of servant leadership, the more I find it to be going the way of the notion of ‘leadership’ generally: regularly defined as including nearly every positive virtue imaginable, so that it becomes an amorphous and unhelpful catch-all category which somehow still receives nods of affirmation as a worthwhile perspective. We like the sound of the term and have decided to elevate the idea, even though we usually don’t know exactly what we’re talking about. (See: Leader: the ideal human being?)
Following on from our recent 2-part series on Follower-Focused Servant Leadership, in this post and the following one, I’ll offer four additional perspectives on ‘servant leadership,’ each of which seems to be occasionally intended when using the term, and yet they are significantly different ways of leading, in my opinion. Continue reading “Servant ~while~ Leadership”
In order to prevent ‘servant leadership’ from becoming an unhelpfully ambiguous concept, we’ll continue our discussion of what servant leadership can look like. Last time (see Part 1), we highlighted 3 caveats for would-be servant leaders. Below are a few avenues for what it might look like to lead by serving (or perhaps to serve while leading?). Continue reading “Follower-Focused Servant Leadership, Part 2”
In conversation with a colleague recently, I discovered how broad the notion of ‘servant leadership’ has become. From Greenleaf’s presentation—from which I would summarize servant leadership as being focused on the development of the organization and its followers—to simple notions of exhibiting varying degrees of humility or altruism, ‘servant leadership’ is in danger of becoming so broad and ambiguous of a concept that it will lose relevance as a helpful platform for communication and reflection. Continue reading “Follower-Focused Servant Leadership, Part 1”
A brief interlude in our ‘Followership View of Servant Leadership‘ series….
I’ve lived in Wales for 7 years (as of last week!); my daughter was born here, but I’ve dabbled only very lightly in the Welsh language (Croeso! Bore da! Diolch yn fawr!)*. However, I recently began to explore the culture a bit more by beginning to read a classic collection of Welsh myths and folktales entitled The Mabinogion.
In my consideration of followership, I am well-aware of the cross-cultural realities that make leadership and followership look differently in various global contexts; I dedicate Chapter 10 of my book to touching on these truths in hopes that we might all be able to set appropriate expectations and practices as we lead and follow across diverse ethnicities, worldviews, and communication styles.
Despite the importance of the differences, I love it when there are universal truths and wisdom that emerge, sound practices and perspectives relevant across time, space, and scenario. Continue reading “Be a Bridge”
If you’re at all enticed by the idea of following with excellence–of truly participating, making your unique contributions, co-laboring with others to achieve a common purpose–then you may have asked yourself a series of questions.
What should I do? How should I engage? What endeavors should I participate in? If I want an environment in which I can follow well, which organization, association, club, or business should I join?
In a moment of altruism, you may even ask yourself, “What does the world need?” What do I have that could be of benefit to others? Continue reading “What does the world need?”