There are many business leadership styles that have been developed over the last 75 years. Some of the most popular include the work of Lewin (Authoritarian, Participative, Delegative), Bass (Extended Transformational Style), and Hershey and Blanchard (Situational). Still other leadership philosophies exist as well including Servant leadership by Greenleaf. Let’s focus on Transformational leadership and Servant leadership for the purposes of this article.
Transformational leaders tend to be emotionally intelligent, energetic, and passionate. They are not only committed to helping the organization achieve its goals, but also to helping group members fulfill their potential. Research has revealed that this style of leadership resulted in higher performance and more improved group satisfaction than other leadership styles.
Servant Leadership is somewhat of a timeless concept, the phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, Greenleaf said:
The servant-leader is servant first…
It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature. (Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership)
No matter which leadership style you employ, if you look at Leadership from a servant’s perspective, you might experience a more collaborative, supportive leadership experience.
I personally use the servant leadership philosophy and feel it creates a wonderful work environment for myself and the team.
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