Discussion Questions 1
Invented by Robert Greenleaf, servant leadership entails serving others before conscious choice drives one into aspiring for a leadership role. However, in order to successfully act in the position of a servant leader, various servant leadership principles as suggested by Greenleaf ought to be utilized. In particular, listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, building community, and nurturing the spirit are significant foundations applied in servant leadership (Rubio-Sanchez, Bosco & Melchar, 2013). Apart from Greenleaf, the Bible advocates for service to others. For instance, in Mathew 20:20-28, Jesus tells his disciples that in order to be a leader, one should serve others first. Similarly, in Philippians 2:3-4, Paul reminds Christians that their attitude ought to be like that of Christ, namely that a leader should consider others better that himself, hence doing nothing out of selfishness but put other peoples interests ahead. However, servant leadership can be applied across diverse organizations apart from Christianity using specific principles. For instance, listening can be used by any leader in any organization because it simply involves commitment to intently listen to others and getting in touch with ones inner voice. Similarly, persuasion can be used across multicultural organization because in order to gain followership, a leader should rely on convictions rather that coerce compliance. Additionally, foresight, which enables a leader to understand past lessons and present realities as well as possible consequences of decisions, is utilized in diverse institutions in order to lead the company in the proper direction. Notably, Mother Teresa utilized these principles to develop her mission not only in Calcutta but in other parts of the world. Similarly, Bill Gates uses the above doctrines to manage Microsoft.
Discussion Questions 2
Even though servant leadership is closely linked to biblical concepts, a number of leaders have embraced servant leadership regardless of their religious convictions. Though servant leadership principles applied both biblically and in contemporary organizations are similar, a slight difference on the perception of servant leadership in both contexts still exists. In the western culture, a good example of a servant leader is Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. In order to develop Microsoft into a global entity, Bill Gates recognized the importance of growing other people as a step towards taking his company on top of others (Brooks,2015). After achieving profits, Bill Gates started contributing to the community through his not-profit organization named Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Notably, Gates leadership corresponds with biblical servant leadership because it uses empathy, putting other peoples interests ahead and growing the community. However, the difference is that whereas western servant leadership aims at growing the organization and earning profits, biblical servant leadership focuses on building the kingdom of God through leading people to the righteous way. Additionally, some servant leadership principles can be universally utilized regardless of religion or culture. For instance, empathy, foresight, conceptualization, and community growth are principles adopted by contemporary business leaders like Bill Gates and religious guides like Mother Teresa.
Discussion Questions 3
Since servant leadership involves serving other peoples interests and growing them towards achieving their goals, a servant leader often acts as a volunteer while serving people. For instance, in his quest to free his people from harsh colonial policies, Nelson Mandela put the interests of South Africans ahead of his own. Significantly, Mandela is notable as a voluntary freedom fighter despite the harsh penalties that accompanied such acts in the colonial South Africa. Despite his struggle for freedom, Mandela never asked people to pay him because he believed that leading his country to freedom is his responsibility (Arslan & Turhan, 2016). Through his compassion for his suffering people and his quest for justice to humanity, Mandela was able to inspire leadership because after his release from prison, people voted him in as the president of South Africa. Inasmuch as Mandela endured suffering to liberate South Africa, he led through kindness once he was elected as a president. For example, he asked people to unite and shun racial hatred in order to grow their country to a better future. Through his compassion and foresight for his country, Mandela was able to build his character as a global servant leader.
Discussion Questions 4
In order to experience servant leadership, I volunteered to work in a non-profit health organization. Basically, my role at the organization is to take care of patients suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and AIDS among others. Observing the chronically ill, I have realized the need to serve other peoples interest like I did before. For instance, I spend longer hours feeding patients to the extent that I barely have time to eat my food. Each time I wake up, my passion is to make a patient comfortable despite of the pain they undergo. In this light, I think this experience will help me to develop my own character and give me leadership experience through exhibiting kindness, compassion, and justice (Udani & Lorenzo-molo, 2013). First, I show love to the patients through taking good care of them and assuring them of a positive outcome in spite of the pain. Secondly, I strive to understand and empathize with the patients by recognizing their need to be accepted despite their medical complications as well as appreciate their unique spirit. Finally, I advocate for justice to patients by making sure that their basic rights are not violated and that they access essential services needed for their survival, particularly the right medication, care, and food.