Becker Logistics blog cover photo servant leadership

Servant Leadership

In the construction of effective managerial systems, the most critical aspect to be considered is leadership. With varying leadership styles and differing opinions on which style of leadership is most effective, there exist large amounts of controversy among individuals on all management levels. Traditionally, leadership styles are founded on increasing company and organizational growth through the implementation and integration of strategic managerial plans which place the leader at the top of a managerial hierarchy. However, some leaders take a different approach in the form of servant leadership.

The concept of servant leadership was first developed in 1970 by Robert K. Greenleaf in his essay The Servant Leader where the concept was first coined. Contrary to traditional leadership styles, servant leadership places emphasis on the leader serving the people and aiding in personal growth and development rather than placing company potential (and him or herself) as the highest priority. Indirectly, both servant leadership and traditional leadership styles have the same goal, however, the path taken varies. Servant leadership’s philosophy is founded upon the idea that the leader must serve management, employees, and customers rather than everyone serving the leader. In the creation of efficiency within a company, motivation can play a large role in success.

Though extrinsic motivation in the form of obligations or rewards can be highly beneficial, intrinsic motivation tends to have longer-lasting effects in an individual’s determination and drive. Increasing intrinsic motivation can, however, be achieved through external sources such as a servant leader. Showing charisma, care and respect for all employees and customers, and making efforts to treat each individual personally allows for the creation of mutual trust-intrinsic motivation between leaders and employees.

By taking an increasingly selfless approach to leadership, servant leaders are able to increase company-wide respect and act in the self-interest of all individuals instead of just themselves. At its core, effective leadership ought to be transformational; being a leader is instead about taking initiative in small situations and implementing change in any and all situations. Regardless of the position you have, opportunities to lead are endless, and the difference in success arises as a result of the approaches used. A methodical, caring and personal approach supported by the philosophy of servant leadership builds a foundation for trust, growth and limitless potential for customers, employees, and leaders alike.

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