March 21, 2014

Servant leader: do we need to focus too much on followers' needs only?

During my research I was reading about servant leadership. This approach implies that leader's ultimate goal is his followers and he should put their needs and interests beyond his own. Literally this theory requires a leader to completely give up his own preferences and serve his subordinates. We have talked so much about the followers and the importance of satisfying their needs. But we should not forget that the primary goal of every leader is to touch the shared vision, yet with collaborating, motivating and influencing the followes. Surely, leader cannot be effective without his followers, but ,I think, everyone would agree that followers (no matter how skilful and professional) can fail without strong leader. And to be strong, leader never should deny his own ideas. I don't say he should only act based on own interests, surely leader should collaborate and come to a joint decisions. But very often followers need direction, and personally for me, if a leader doesn't have his own strong beliefs and opinion, I hardly will recognize him as a strong and effective leader. He should listen carefully to all, should communicate, but retain his own perceptions. It is just like parents-children relationships, the more parents "serve" their kids the more they get "spoiled". Indeed, they can become even more disengaged by this relation.

Therefore,in my opinion, being servant leader all way long and focusing too much on followers and their needs may cause adverse results.


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