Leadership and management discussion 3

Please read the lecture and respond to the discussion questions APA format with reference

Applying Servant Leadership in Practice


The idea of servant leadership may seem contradictory. Servants are thought of as meek and followers of those with great stature, while the term leader inspires images of those that come first and receive great honor. The focus this week will be on the characteristics of a servant leader, as well as how to operationalize those characteristics in one’s life through personal mission, vision, and values.

Characteristics of the Servant Leader

Servant leadership differs from every other theory of leadership in its emphasis on leading through serving others and through the desire to hold others through leadership, rather than through the desire to hold power over others. Servant leadership supports the notion that enhancing growth in others produces a stronger organization through relationships. Greenleaf (1991) states the following:

The servant-leader is a servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve… Then conscious choice brings on to aspire to lead… The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived? (p. 7).

In studying Greenleaf’s materials, the following characteristics are of critical importance to the success of the servant leader:

1.Empathy: Servant leaders need to be able to recognize someone else’s intentions, feelings, and pain.

2.Listening: To truly have empathy, one must be an active listener, listen to what is behind the words, reflect, and repeat back to the communicator what was heard.

3.Emotional Intelligence: This characteristic will be discussed later in the course. It is the ability to be keenly aware of human emotional reactions and patterns.

4.Foresight: Lessons from the past allow the leader to predict and steer an outcome and decision for the future.

5.Stewardship: Stewards serve the needs of others, build relationships, oversee the allocation and utilization of resources, and help others to grow. All of these build trust and promise for followers.

An excellent analogy to servant leadership is the old anonymous saying, “Give a man a fish, and you have fed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime.”

Servant Leadership Operationalized

Hierarchical power structures are present in every health care organization. Some have chosen flatter structures, but there is still hierarchy inherent in the system. To truly get to servant leadership in a management model, practices must be redefined, structures must be realigned, the role of the employee must be reevaluated, and the human resource strategies must be built around the characteristics mentioned above.

Management in this new structure involves taking the initiative and being responsible and accountable to those being served. It also requires that the manager support the decisions made by employees. Managers in this system should delegate authority for decision-making to those closest to the patient, but they cannot delegate or abdicate their responsibility for the outcomes. Allowing others to make mistakes encourages their growth and the progression of the organization.

Examples of leaders range from Winston Churchill, Napoleon, or Hitler to Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, or even Oprah Winfrey. Although all leaders have power through the influence they have over others, some leaders are servants, and some are not. Power can be addicting, and it requires the leader to have intelligence, understanding, wisdom, magnetism, and confidence. Servant leaders possess these skills and derive their power from the desire others have to follow them.

When examining the question of how to operationalize servant leadership, one must realize that attitude and behavior must reflect the desire to serve before others will follow. Blanchard, Hybels, & Hodges (1999, p. 172) describe this process as “aiming for the best interest of those I lead and gaining personal satisfaction from watching the growth of others.” Secondly, a clear vision of the goal should be developed and then realized. Performance can be monitored through guidance, coaching, and praise. Next, servant leaders are more concerned with service than with recognition or wealth. They listen and show concern, empathy, and willingness to serve and reinforce it every day. Finally, servant leaders remove obstacles from the paths of others so that they can do their job. When people feel cared for, they are more likely to serve others themselves.

Personal Mission, Vision, and Values

Personal mission, vision, and values are closely tied to the topics discussed in the previous paragraphs. A mission statement is a declaration of why a person exists and what his or her purpose is in life. A vision statement is a declaration of what a person desires to be, and values are the foundations of ethics followed every day. Clearly identifying one’s personal mission, vision, and values can lead to higher satisfaction with work and personal life by creating clarity around goals and facilitating decision-making that contributes to the overall sense of purpose and value in life.

Knowing the personal leadership styles of individuals in a health care environment helps define where the strengths and deficiencies might be within a team. The focus for this week will be on personal leadership styles and how they affect and are affected by interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence, and integration into health care of leadership and management roles and functions.

Leadership Styles

Leadership is difficult to describe, yet it is critical to the success of health care organizations. History has taught people that there are many different leadership styles. Each leader has unique preferences and ways of behaving. Differences between leaders do not mean that one leader is good or bad, right or wrong, effective or ineffective. However, to increase effectiveness, leaders must be able to grow and develop those whom they are leading. Leaders must be flexible and adapt styles to meet the needs of the situation and the individuals involved. Goleman, (2003) asserts that leaders who have mastered four or more styles, especially authoritative, democratic, affiliative, and coaching styles, have the best chance of success in leading.

Authoritative leaders mobilize people, are self-confident, and are strong in situations when change is required. Democratic leaders gain consensus through collaboration and are best in situations when buy-in is needed. Affiliative leaders create harmony, build relationships, and are best in healing teams or motivating people. Coaching leaders develop people for the future through empathy and self-awareness. They are best in improving performance in the long run.

Emotional Intelligence

“In 1998, Daniel Goldman in partnership with the consulting firm of Hay/McBer, recognized that 90% of the difference separating the average and best leaders lies within their grasp of emotional intelligence” (Breen, n.d.). According to Breen (n.d.), “emotional intelligence describes an individual’s ability to manage his or her self as well as other relationships effectively.” It consists of four fundamental capabilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skill. Having these capabilities allows leaders to have a positive impact on the culture and climate of an organization. Leaders are able to adjust their style to get the best results.

Changing behavior and sustaining the change is extremely difficult. Emotional intelligence will help create faster, deeper, long-term change. Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2002) describe the principles of emotional intelligence in the following ways: The individual members of an organization are interconnected and interrelated.

The individual members perceive their work as natural and a source of fulfillment and growth.

Creativity is inherent in the individual and in the collective wisdom of each team.

The individual members are motivated to contribute in meaningful ways to relevant goals and focus on self-esteem and self-actualization.

Leadership emerges from the combined active engagement of all members of the organization, not from the activities of a single individual.

Although measuring the softer side of an organization is difficult, the absence of it is clearly felt in the culture. When leaders have strong emotional intelligence, the organization also has strong emotional intelligence.


Servant leaders are imperative to the success of health care organizations today: “A new moral principle is emerging which holds that the only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader” (Dye, 2000, p. 61).

Leadership consists of many styles and types throughout the organization. After studying leadership types and styles, and emotional intelligence, it becomes clear that an understanding of relationships and the soft side of management is essential. Drucker (n.d.) states, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” The possibilities and limitations of all leaders are within their control; they become the kind of leaders they choose to be.


Blanchard, K., Hybels, B., & Hodges, P. (1999). Leadership by the book: Tools to transform your workplace. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Breen, A. (n.d.). Leadership: An introduction to fundamental concepts and styles. Case Western Reserve University.

Drucker, P. (n.d.). Quotations by author. The Quotations Page.

Dye, C. F. (2000). Leadership in healthcare: Values at the top. Chicago: Health Administration Press.

Greenleaf, R. K. (1991). The servant as leader. Indianapolis: Robert K. Greenleaf Center.

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, 78(9). 78-90.

Goleman, D. (2003). Leadership styles that get results. The Institute for Management Excellence.

Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2002). Quantum leadership: A textbook of new leadership. New York: Aspen.

Discussion 1

You have an idea to improve patient care that you would like upper management to support and fund. What type of communication tool would you use to present your idea and why?

Discussion 2

What differentiates someone that is intrinsically motivated from someone that is extrinsically motivated? Give an example of how you would go about motivating an individual who is intrinsically motivated and one who is extrinsically motivated. What are the characteristics of a performance-driven team?

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