Leadership is not limited to self-confidence – often, it does not require championship qualities at all. This work is devoted to the consideration and analysis of leadership as a service. This concept became an important counterweight to the command and administrative leadership style of that era, and in the following decades, it gained many followers. Many companies and executives have adopted leadership-service as the main management philosophy. Managers using this approach can be very effective in certain circumstances. This work examines the origin of the concept of leadership as a service and its most essential principles.
It is difficult for many to learn that leadership is service. All aspects of the role convince the opposite:
- Managers are paid more than other employees;
- They have power over the team;
- Their decisions must carry out.
But in fact, this manager serves subordinates: they do the most challenging work, and his role is to help them act as efficiently as possible. Mentally flip the organization’s structure so that the top of the pyramid, where the head is located, is at the bottom, and the rest of the system would rest on it. A service leader puts the needs of employees above his own needs (Michael et al., 2017). He devotes time to his subordinates, listening to their opinions, offering support, and actively contributing to creating a sense of camaraderie in his team or organization. Instead of strengthening his position, power, or influence, such a leader puts the development and well-being of his team members at the forefront. In the next part of the paper, I would like to discuss the concepts that I wanted the most and that I would use now and in the future.
The Domains of Leading like Jesus
The concept that elevates Jesus Christ as an ideal leader is quite viable today because the same norms apply. Just think of what Jesus achieved in three years of ministry – and it continues to affect millions of people around the world. Here are four distinctive features of Jesus’ ministry that made him an effective leader:
- Jesus spent time with a circle of close friends. The idea that a leader cannot be in close relations with people with whom he works shoulder to shoulder does not correspond in any way to the image of Christ.
- Jesus was more concerned about who His followers were than what they did. If a leader is more concerned about the results of the work of his subordinates than the fruit that the Lord produces in them, then he will often expose them to unhealthy influences.
- Jesus showed patience to his closest disciples. When we read the Gospel, we do not find anywhere that Jesus was angry with His disciples. Of course, He has corrected or even blamed them, but this is the exception, not the rule.
- Jesus was not paranoid. There is this crazy idea in Christian circles that a leader should be paranoid about which of the employees is “with him” and who is “not with him.” Who will betray Him in the end? Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, but this did not prevent Him from fulfilling God’s destiny.
The leader should not ask the question: “Are these people on my side?” It’s much more productive to ask yourself (Ken et al., 2016). If subordinates know that the leader loves them, wishes them only the best, and is ready to fight for the right to love and guide them, then betrayal will be much less likely than in the life of a leader who constantly worries that someone is not entirely devoted to the vision. It seems that this is something I could follow in the future because now I still lack the skill to get closer to my subordinates.
5 Love Languages
It is naive to believe that the 5 Languages of love are exclusively about the relationship between a man and a woman or other sexual minorities. The company’s employees are the same people who need a caring attitude in their personal lives and the work environment. Psychologists have concluded that the need to feel loved is the primary emotional need of a person – without it, you will experience emotional and social difficulties. However, we all share the feeling of love in different ways, and we all have certain things that make us feel loved.
The author identified five languages of love, which, in his opinion, improve the emotional background of each person. These are words of confirmation, quality time spent, receiving gifts, rendering services, and physical touch (Allison et al., 2018). On the last point, you can, of course, ask several questions given the frequent cases of harassment in the workplace. However, the usual hugs of an employee will never be excessive, especially if everything is not in order in his life. Among the basic needs for emotions, none is more important than the need for love and affection – it is the need to feel that they belong and are needed.
This concept is relatively easy to apply in practice because it does not require maximum internal resources. It is enough to maintain the situation at a comfortable level. An employee needs to hear from me, as a manager, words of praise that motivate until the end of the working day or working week. It is essential to maintain a mental connection with the employee, and during non-working hours, we can arrange parties, joint walks, and lunch between work. Such an event will increase the overall emotional background and help the employee not to feel tension. Gifts that show what the company thinks about each employee are of the same importance. A gift is a physical symbol of love on the employer’s part, and it does not matter how much it costs. I will try to implement this method not only for a birthday but also for other holidays. It is precious to provide services for my employee, especially when I do what he would like to receive; this improves the level of interaction but retains subordination.
Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals
This concept is exciting to think about because it implies leadership that adapts to circumstances. This type seems practical and flexible, which allows you to take specific actions in a particular situation. The manager must understand, recognize, and adapt to the specific situation and, first of all, work out the tasks that will assign to the employee. A leader needs to conduct psychological training of his employee before setting tasks that he is obliged to perform. This part is essential because employees will feel comfortable and cope with work of any complexity.
As a manager, it is of value to learn how to feel your employees and know what they are doing at a given time (Mihaela et al., 2019). My behavior should be supportive; it reflects such an essential aspect as caring for people. The main goal is to build and maintain good relationships with subordinates, creating the necessary, safe environment. In this environment, it will be easier to pay attention to the needs and well-being of your employees.
The leadership style should adapt to the context of the conditions for the best implementation of leadership qualities. It is essential to prepare the employee psychologically for work and correctly explain the tasks, guide him at the right time, and advise to improve efficiency. When there is a significant risk of encountering unforeseen circumstances, I still have to show myself as a confident leader. It is essential because employees feel better when they have confidence that everything is under control.
Understanding Service Culture and Implementing Change
The leadership style should adapt to the context of the conditions for the best implementation of leadership qualities. It is essential to prepare the employee psychologically for work and correctly explain the tasks, guide him at the right time, and advise to improve efficiency. When there is a significant risk of encountering unforeseen circumstances, I still have to show myself as a confident leader. It is essential because employees feel better when they have confidence that everything is under control. If I am going to use this concept, I should develop a strategy that will be understandable to my employees. At the same time, I need to provide support to other managers and their communication with subordinates. It is necessary to plan, encourage and maintain an internal client-oriented culture and its activities.
In conclusion, I would like to note that each of the concepts can lead to the success of the company and the well-being of employees. It is achieved by providing emotional service to its employees and creating an eco-friendly environment for fruitful work, in all the concepts considered. The main problem is to use each idea simultaneously because it is very energy-consuming for the manager. It is enough to take a few essential points from each concept and gradually implement them into the working environment.
Allison, N., Jane, R., Cheryl, K., Ami, C., Gwen, C., Andrea, H., Terrill, P., & Rebecca, S. (2018). The Five Love Languages Program: An exploratory investigation points to improvements in relationship functioning. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 6(3), 40-58.
Ken, B., Phil, H., Phyllis, H. (2016). Lead like Jesus. W Publishing Group.
Michael, C. F., Mark, B., & Madelyn, G. (2017). The functions of a servant leader. Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 5-6.
Mihaela, D., Liliana, F. (2019). Mission, Vision, and Values of Organizations, the Catalysts of Corporate Social Responsibility. Audit Financier. 153(17). 142-148.