Saturday, May 24, 2014

Servant Leadership is More about Character than Style

A Palestianian shepherd
Servant leadership is more about character than style” (Ken Blanchard)

In his book, Servant Leadership, Robert Greenleaf defines two kinds of leaders. Strong natural leaders are those who try to take control, make decisions, and give the orders in any situation in which they find themselves. They have a need to be in charge. Strong natural servants, on the other hand, will assume leadership only if they see it as a way in which they can serve.

You would think that natural leaders would use a directive, autocratic style while natural servants would use a more supportive, participative style. This assumption falls short because it confuses style with character.

I want to be led by strong natural servants because they are willing to use whatever leadership style – directive, supportive, or some combination – best serves the needs of those they lead. Remember that the primary biblical image of servant leadership is that of the shepherd, because the flock is not there for the sake of the shepherd; the shepherd is there for the sake of the flock.*


*taken from Ken Blanchard’s The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Arts of Influence.
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