Sample Paper on Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership

Major Traits of a Leader

The true obligation of leadership entails the ability to make changes happen in an organization. Outstanding leaders are defined by a balance of traits, behaviors, and abilities, as well as sources of power. This becomes the determining aspects of the capacity to influence the followers as well as accomplish goals. Effective leadership starts with the fundamental capabilities to achieve one’s objectives (Wilkes, 1996). It incorporates things such as conviction, maturity, as well as expertise, which translates into a direction and a purpose. Leadership is understood as not being an individual’s directing, but the cooperative efforts that are fostered through listening, gathering opinions, considering effective strategies, and effectively coming up with clear visions. Leadership is all about the process of influencing the activities of people or employees towards goal achievement (Greenleaf, Frick & Spears, 1996).

There are five characteristics of a great leader. The first of these traits is the trait of being flexible. It is true that not everything goes the way it is planned. The level of competition change tactics, strategies, as well as governments and force new regulations on businesses. During times like these, the leader may be called upon to change course, which implies that the leader will make sure that the business continues to strive and the leader would be required to design new ways in order to obtain the business’s goals and objectives (Hill, 1992).

The second trait of a good leader is being able to communicate effectively. Some of the great leaders are also great orators, however, speaking well does not make all that is needed in a leader. In the world today, there are a number of leaders who speak a great deal, but deliver nothing. Leaders who are able to communicate well are leaders who not only share their thoughts with their employees, but also who let their strength as well as personal traits show in through their communication, as well as empower those work for them through defining the company’s goals and objectives (Hawkinson & Johnston, 1993).

The third trait of a leader is having courage, patience, as well as tenacity. Possessing the courage in order to stand alone, the tenacity to succumb to the wave of pressure, as well as the patience to keep on fighting defines an effective as well as a great leader. In order for leaders to be effective and great, they need to have such personality characteristics such as patience, tenacity, and courage (Hill, 1992).

The fourth trait of a leader is being responsible. A successful leader is one who is able to be accountable for the actions and operations of the business. The fifth trait of a leader is a combination of both presence as well as humility. Acting aloof and above the employees does not make a great leader. Leaders must be able to talk as well as listen to their employees on entirely all the levels of the business. In addition, leaders need to have respect for their employees, which can only be earned through values such as honesty, fairness, and integrity (Cashman, 2008).

Major traits of Servant Leadership

The world today is experiencing a rapid as well as tremendous shift in a number of businesses, from the more traditional autocratic as well as hierarchical models of leadership towards servant leadership. Servant leadership endeavors to engage other people in the process of decision-making. Servant leadership is fundamentally based on ethical as well as caring behavior and improves the growth of employees, while at the same time enhancing the caring and quality of the organizational life (Hammer, 2012). There are a number of servant leadership traits, which are of very critical importance. These traits include empathy, listening, stewardship, commitment, awareness, and building community. The servant leader must be a servant first. It usually begins with one wanting to serve. Then the conscious decision presents one to aspire to lead.  In the book “Good to Great,” Collins gives a number of traits of a servant leader. He offers qualities to greatness, namely, simplicity, practicality, quite, self-effacing, humble, as well as directness. Collins argues that these qualities are almost present in police officers and that there is no reason at all why these traits can fade away as these officers’ ranks gets high. Thus embracing the qualities of greatness, it transforms the manner in which individuals at various levels of a company view their works as well as responsibilities (Hughes, Beatty, & Center for Creative Leadership, 2005).

According to Collins, “the self-promoting leaders are always heading the less successful companies as compared to less self-promoting leaders who are able to lead companies to success and achieve organizational objectives (p. 17-19).” Therefore, another quality of a servant leader is having less self-promoting. Moreover, Collins argues that “the quite leaders, on the other hand, are often driven by the desire to achieve and are very strong, and also have their ego channeled away from themselves into a larger goal of building a successful company or organization,” (Wexler, Wycoff, Fischer, United States, & Police Executive Research Forum, 2007, p.18-19). The quite leader according to Collins is one who is highly driven to build a great company, rather than building a great name for himself. On the contrary, servant leaders in policing posses such traits of greatness as being quite, and tend to maintain low profiles, which often keep them out of the national limelight. Many of the police leaders who serve in low-profiles have level 5 qualities and tend to achieve their goals as well as objectives (Hughes, Beatty & Center for Creative Leadership, 2005).

Another trait of a servant leader is being disciplined. The ability of an organization to function properly as well as remain highly focused requires a culture of discipline from the leaders. The term discipline is not only about actions, but comprises of disciplined people, disciplined action, as well as disciplined thoughts. The presence of a culture of discipline highly depends on a company having the right person or people and who are highly disciplined. Jim argues that it is very unwise to get on board individuals who are not disciplined and try to impose discipline on them. This implies that a culture of discipline should never be confused with tyrannical leaders who usually impose discipline by use of force, rather organizations need to get people who posses self-discipline (Blanchard & Miller, 2012).

On the side of policing, servant leaders can also be identified through the demonstration of self-discipline. This may be shown through careful research, consistent follow-ups, as well as continuous refinement of programs. Moreover, since many of the police chiefs are inherit, than select, many of their employees as well as mangers, it becomes highly difficult to develop the culture of discipline . Therefore, for police to the direction it wants to be and of constant improvement, then it must establish a middle ground among having a culture of discipline as well as being willing to enforce controls on their employees (Hughes, Beatty, & Center for Creative Leadership, 2005).

Having discipline in an organization has two major purposes. The disciplined leader need to not only focus on what the organization wants to do, but also use their discipline in order to focus as well as abolish those things that the organization should not do. Moreover, the company is not supposed to take away all the resources away from the central goal of the organization. The culture of discipline also requires that the leaders take long as well as hard look on the facts concerning the organization, and then in return act on these facts.

Leaders should also be good listeners and have been traditionally valued for their communication as well as decision making skills. Although this is an important skill of a servant leader, they require to be reinforced through deep commitment to listening with more intent to others. The servant leader seeks to identify the will of the people as well as help to clarify that will. The issue of listening also encompasses hearing one’s own inner voice. Moreover, listening, coupled with moments of reflection, is very critical to the growth and development of an organization. Leaders in an organization need to listen to their employees as well as include them in the daily activities of the business, because through this, the company will achieve its objectives and goals. For the policing, the chiefs need also to be listening to their employees. It has been established that those who pay a keen attention as well as listen to their workers, are able to achieve greatness in the long run (Towns, 1986).

Servant leaders also need to demonstrate a sense of empathy. This means that servant leaders are ones who strive to understanding as well as empathizing with their workers or employees. A leader assumes all the good attentions of workers as well as colleagues for their special and distinctive spirits. A servant leader does not reject other people even in situations in which they may be forced to refuse to accept or take certain behaviors and performances. The most successful and accomplished servant leaders are those leaders who have become skilled empathetic listeners. This also implies that, for any company to accomplish its targets, the leaders must demonstrate empathy towards their employees and accept them irrespective of any circumstance. On the side of policing, this trait can be highly helpful in ensuring that the police departments work in harmony through the leaders showing understanding and empathy towards the employees (Wexler, Wycoff, Fischer, United States, & Police Executive Research Forum, 2007).

The trait of awareness and more particular, self-awareness, strengthens servant leaders in many ways. The trait of awareness for servant leaders enables them to understand the issues that entail or involve power, ethics, as well as values. Moreover, servant leaders who have self-awareness are able to view a number of situations from more integrated and holistic positions. For accompany to fully realize its goals as well as objectives, the leaders have to portray a lot of self-awareness. Police departments also need to be headed by leaders who posses self-awareness, because through this, the departments would be able to achieve their long-term objectives (Wexler, Wycoff, Fischer, United States, & Police Executive Research Forum, 2007).

Servant leaders are also those who demonstrate high commitments to the growth of the people. The servant leader believes that the employees have intrinsic values that are beyond their tangible contributions as employees. Because of this, the servant leader must be deeply committed to the growth of each employee with the organization or company. Moreover, the servant leader must be able to identify the tremendous duties and obligations to undertake in his power to nurture the both the personal as well as professional development of the employees. This can be achieved in policing through the chiefs becoming highly committed to the development of every officer within the police force. The issue of minding about other people’s development and growth makes a good leader who is always committed to ensuring the welfare of other people (Miller, 2013).

Finally, the trait of stewardship is also very important and defines a servant leader in any organization. A steward leader is one who holds something in trust for another person. All the organizations, including the police are very important in defining this trait and the CEOs as well as police chiefs play a very important function in holding their institutions in trust for the greater good of all the people. Servant leaders, just like stewardship, assume the commitment of serving the needs of the society above anything else. The trait of stewardship focuses more on application of persuasion as well as openness, rather than control (Combs, Miser, & Whitaker, 1999).

Bringing the Notion of Servant Leadership to a Police Organization

The traits discussed above of a good servant have been found to very effective in schools and companies across many regions. In addition, regarding the nature of the personalities in the good to great principles, there may be an argument for a very critical difference when it comes to the issue of police leaders. Moreover, given the public nature of policing and the high visibility of issues, which the police leaders have to encounter, it may be thought that what the police call the “command presence,” is important trait. In reality, when a tough circumstance presents itself such as a terrorist attack or any other catastrophe, a highly controversial situation comes into play, in which the officers use force. When the police chiefs fail to address the issue in public, they may risk losing his credibility with the public and their officers. Communication, therefore, becomes very critical because it enhances understanding among the public as well as the police in general.

The police chiefs, just like any executives offer themselves for a task, but do not select themselves into their positions. By bringing the principles of good to great to the police, it need a better understanding on the types of chiefs who are needed in order to initiate such kind of leadership into the police departments. The notion of servant leadership in policing may help in gaining significant process in serving the people, and in return, the police departments would be able to achieve their goals as well as objectives in the long-run.  Similarly, servant leadership may help in transforming many of the troubled police departments since the idea of servant leadership brings with it ways to manage people as well as engage them in the running of the policing activities. This may be realized through giving managers who have transformed companies the duties as well as responsibilities of police chiefs. This would help in reducing the rate of criminal activities as well as controlling the use of force among some police officers (Wexler, Wycoff, Fischer, United States, & Police Executive Research Forum, 2007).

The notion of servant leadership brings many personality traits that can help the police in transforming a well as achieving its objectives. Having discipline among the police chiefs has two major purposes. The disciplined chief need to not only focus on what the police wants to do, but also use their discipline in order to focus as well as abolish those things that the police should not do. Moreover, the police departments are not supposed to take away all the resources away from the central goal of the departments. The culture of discipline also requires that the leaders take long as well as hard look on the facts concerning the departments, and then in return act on these facts (Maxwell, 1999).

Police chiefs need to be good listeners, good communicators as well as have excellent decision-making skills. Although this is an important skill of a servant leader, they require to be reinforced through deep commitment to listening with more intent to others. The servant leader seeks to identify the will of the people as well as help to clarify that will. Listening also is a very important aspect in a leadership, which includes hearing one’s own inner voice and can help in the growth and advancement of the police force. Leaders in the police force need to listen to their employees as well as include them in the daily activities of the business, because through this, the police will achieve its objectives and goals. Thus, in the police, the chiefs need also to be listening to their employees (Wexler, Wycoff, Fischer, United States, & Police Executive Research Forum, 2007).  Other traits such as empathy, stewardship, among other traits are highly critical and would help the police in dealing with its issues in more effective ways. However, having such qualities among the police can be a bit challenging given the environments in which the police operate in. Many of these environments require force in order to deal with criminals, thus, practicing empathy or understanding with the criminals may prove a tough thing. However, the gains of servant leadership among the police officers may bring more success as compared to the use of force and control. This is because the principles of servant leadership call for all the people to work together as well as be included in the daily learning of the police operations.  This change might not require a cultural change parse, but the tactics as well as methods of operations need to change (Genovese, 2014).

There are a number of benefits as well as pitfalls of servant leadership in a police organization. The benefits of servant leadership in the police organization will encompass whole departments as well as the employees. It would help the police to become people-centered and avoid using force in initiating changes among the people. Moreover, through involving people with the operations of the police, it would help in reducing the rate of crimes. One of the pitfall of servant leadership in policing is that, it may present more challenges due to the fact that criminal would have an upper hand knowing  that the officers are supposed to understand them (Bennis, 1989).

A Plan for Implementing These Changes in a Police Organization

            In order to ensure that the benefits of servant leadership in a police organization are fully realized, the following must be done:

The police should be provided with the right information and trained on the best ways to deal with the people (Towns, 1986).

Incorporate public participation in the processes of policing, and

Educate the public on the gains of avoiding criminal activities of any nature

 

References

Blanchard, K., & Miller, M. (2012). Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Bennis, W. G. (1989). On becoming a leader. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.

Cashman, K. (2008). Leadership from the inside out: Becoming a leader for life. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Combs, A. W., Miser, A. B., & Whitaker, K. S. (1999). On becoming a school leader: A person-centered challenge. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Genovese, M. A. (2014). Building tomorrow’s leaders today: On becoming a polymath leader.

Greenleaf, R. K., Frick, D. M., & Spears, L. C. (1996). On becoming a servant-leader. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Hill, L. A. (1992). Becoming a manager: Mastery of a new identity. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.

Hammer, D. C. (2012). Servant leadership. S.l.: Pacific Creek Books.

Hawkinson, J. R., & Johnston, R. K. (1993). Servant leadership. Chicago, Ill: Covenant Pub.

Hughes, R. L., Beatty, K. C., & Center for Creative Leadership. (2005). Becoming a strategic leader: Your role in your organization’s enduring success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Maxwell, J. C. (1999). The 21 indispensable qualities of a leader: Becoming the person that people will want to follow. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

Miller, M. (2013). The heart of leadership: Becoming a leader people want to follow.

Towns, E. L. (1986). Becoming a leader: How to develop leadership. Lynchburg, Va: Church Growth Institute.

Wexler, C., Wycoff, M. A., Fischer, C., United States., & Police Executive Research Forum. (2007). “Good to great” policing: Application of business management principles in the public sector. Washington, D.C: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Wilkes, C. G. (1996). Jesus on leadership: Becoming a servant leader. Nashville, Tn: LifeWay Press.