The concept of leadership comprises of a wide range of approaches to defining a person’s abilities to become an effective leader. Thus, there exist a number of theories explaining different leadership models. Some of them are based exclusively on the leader’s personal characteristics and skills. At the same time, others take into consideration the situation in which the leader acts and the interaction between the leader and his followers. Analyzing these theories, a potential leader can find the one that will help him to develop the necessary leadership qualities.
It is obvious that not every leader can act equally successful in various situations and with different people. It proves that the leadership lies not only in leader’s self-realization but also in a number of other factors. This idea is described in the theory of servant leadership. It stresses the leader’s attention to the concerns of his followers and his ability to help them cultivate their personal strengths.
This approach appeals to me in the way it describes the personality of a leader. Shann Ray Ferchand and Larry C. Spears (2011) stress that a servant leader should possess a set of ten characteristics that are critically important. They comprise the ability to listen, be empathic and aware, heal, persuade, conceptualize, foresee, commit oneself to the growth of people, build community, and display stewardship (Shann Ray Ferch & Larry C. Spears, 2011, p. 11-14). While the common leadership qualities include the abilities to communicate and make decisions, the ability to listen attentively to others is often out of focus. I hold the view that to become a successful leader, one should recognize the intention of the group and help to make this intention clear. Besides, it is significant to display empathy by understanding other people’s feelings and problems. Servant leaders have the ability to heal those who have broken spirits and suffer from emotional traumas. I agree that a leader has to be able to convince others and regard the issues beyond daily realities. Moreover, it is sufficient to remember the lessons of the past and predict the possible consequences of your decisions. In addition, the leader needs to contribute to the development of every individual within his organization. He plays the leading role in the formation of a separate community inside the institution and stimulates people to share the responsibility for the collective decisions. Obtaining all these features is characteristic of a servant leader.
There is no doubt that the servant leadership model leads to the positive outcomes and improvements in the process of work. In particular, tolerant behavior towards others leads to the positive social changes. The servant role of the leader allows him to contribute to the followers’ performance and development. The encouragement and positive attitude provided by the leader may influence the followers in the way they treat other people. Thus, one effective servant leader can develop other servant leaders by providing a good example of combining the abilities to control and collaborate.
To summarize, servant leadership theory can be useful for those who want to improve both their leadership skills and the cooperation with co-workers. It can result in the growth of the followers’ self-actualization, organizational performance, and a positive influence on society. Thus, I have no doubts that an effective leader should not only control, but also encourage people to work and contribute to their personal and professional development.
Ferch, S. R., & Spears, L. C. (Eds.). (2011). The spirit of servant-leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.