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Leadership involves organizing a group of people with a mission to achieve a common organizational goal. The leader shares a vision with the followers and strives to attain a better reality much to the expectations of his or her followers.
A leader inspires and motivates followers towards achieving a shared dream; therefore, leadership is important in organizations in decision-making and implementation of organizational goals. Leadership styles involve traits of intelligence and personality, situational interaction between the leader and the need and the charisma to connect with the followers effectively.
Many of the leadership models do not involve the leader collaborating and empowering the subjects. Servant leadership style takes into account the needs of the followers and collaborates with them to achieve the organizational goals. The servant leader serves first, followed by the aspiration to lead.
A servant leader allows two-way communication with the followers, practices empathy, stewardship, and self-awareness. In addition to all these skills of effective leadership, good knowledge of the many cultures will foster improved relationships and promote development.
Other new concepts like emotional and social intelligence are also vital in leadership as they promote social interactions between the leader and other people.
According to Greenleaf, a servant leader serves first before becoming a leader. According to Montana and Charnov, “the skills and capacities of a servant leader are different from a leader-servant leadership where serving is not the priority but comes after establishment of leadership” (43).
The servant leader listens to other people’s opinions and excogitates upon them before responding to any problem. By first listening to other people’s opinion, the leader servant makes appropriate decisions that are not biased. Effective servant leaders listen to other people and pay attention to their own inner voice.
Servant leaders practice empathy to develop trust with others. By empathizing with others, a servant leader is able to understand and solve problems affecting his/her followers. The servant leader understands and accepts the other person and by that, he/she motivates them.
A Servant leader persuades the followers to agree with his or her actions or beliefs while taking into account the well-being of others or the organization. Consensus building is another quality of a servant leader.
The servant leader seeks the support of the followers in decision making through group discussions. The servant leader first listens to the different opinions that pertain to an issue before seeking a mutual agreement and then makes an acceptable decision on the issue.
Foresight is a fundamental skill for an effective servant-leadership as it allows the leader to make judgment at appropriate time to avoid future failures. Foresight, Greenleaf believes, ensures proper policy formulation that will ensure future prosperity in business, governance, and even social wellbeing.
In addition, a servant leader has a keen sense of self-awareness, which allows him or her to live up to the expectations of the other people. Greenleaf describes a servant leader as one who is able to conceptualize dreams that allow him or her to make ideal goals.
Greenleaf also believes a servant leader is leader-steward who cares not only of the well-being of the organization, but also the welfare of the other people. A servant leader ensures the growth of the people by facilitating the attainment of their full potential like ensuring students in an academic institution are motivated enough to achieve the best results.
A servant leader builds the community through various initiatives that give service to the community and investments in the community projects. Servant leaders understand their personal health as well as the health of the organization they are leading to make appropriate steps of healing, development, and/or recovery.
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Importance of Leadership
In an organization, effective leadership is one of the expectations of the employees. The staff of an organization expects confident and effective decision –making from the managers especially concerning major issues. Good leadership is supportive and is committed to the welfare of the employees (Northouse 87).
This creates trust and loyalty between the leader and staff that improve the working relationships in the work place. Leadership provides effective planning to improve productivity and promote faith in leaders during hard economic times. Poor leadership in organizations on the other hand creates distrust that affects the performance of employees.
Leadership is important in the society as the decisions made by the leaders have far-reaching implications in the society. Leadership motivates and inspires the followers to work towards advancement of the society. Visionary leaders provide guidance and lead the people into the uncertain future.
Leaders also contribute to the development of communities through helping others and coordinating activities within a society. “Effective leadership involves creating and sustaining good relationships with others founded on common purpose” (Fiedler147).
To an individual, leadership ensures the development of integrity and honesty virtues that are important for moral growth of an individual. Moreover, good leadership provides inspiration and motivation that ensure the attainment of full potential of the followers in the society.
Models of Leadership
I believe that besides servant-leader skills of self-awareness and collaboration with the others, understanding the group culture is important. An effective leader should learn to understand interactions of different group values and their effects in an organization.
Cultural values have an impact on relationships and understanding them will lead to an improved working relations. The knowledge of group interactions will ensure the creation of a social system that is acceptable to all.
New leadership paradigms available currently provide alternatives the traditional models (Vroom and Jago 54). Among them is the servant leader model, which is not power based and involves collaborating with the followers in achieving organizational goals.
However, this can be difficult to attain in large and dispersed organizations. Emotional intelligence leadership model developed by Reuven Bar-on in 1980 entails a keen understanding of oneself and other people to be able to manage them effectively.
Emotional intelligence is determined using self-report questionnaires to measure the levels of self-awareness. Authentic leadership model believes that the foundation of leadership is authenticity. An authentic expression, character, and adding value to social interactions are some of the foundations of this leadership concept.
Social intelligence is necessary in leadership as it helps the leader to work through difficult social situations. It involves applying emotional intelligence to different people thus allows one to achieve a given level of social competence.
Social intelligence allows a leader to interact well with others and be able to assess the prevailing situation, which is important in achieving appropriate solutions to a problem.
Social and emotional intelligence helps the leader to understand the effects of social interactions on the other people and what changes to self-awareness that can benefit the leader and others as well.
New leadership models consider the emotional and social aspects of a person unlike the traditional leadership concepts that are power-based. Servant leadership concept involves leader collaboration with other people and the leader takes into account the needs of the followers in making any decision.
Authentic leadership model focuses on genuine expression of values to the other people. Social and emotional intelligence concepts hold the view that, those individuals with high social and emotional intelligence are able to adjust comfortably to different social situations and they build sustainable social networks.
Nevertheless, leadership models should also entail cultural diversity of the society. Understanding the cultural aspects of people and the cultural interactions will lead to improved working relations.
Fiedler, Fred. A theory of leadership effectiveness. McGraw-Hill: Harper and Row Publishers Inc., 1967.
Montana, Patrick, and Charnov, Bruce Management: Leadership and Theory. New York. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., Hauppauge, 2008.
Northouse, Peter. Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice. London: SAGE Publications, 2009.
Vroom, Victor, and Jago, Arthur. The New Leadership: Managing Participation in Organizations. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1988.