Applying Servant Leadership
Applying Servant Leadership
Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the contemporary leaders in the history of the United States who applied servant leadership in his leadership, which enabled him to become the most successful leader in the history of civil rights movement (Tenney, 2014). Martin Luther King Jr. based his leadership approaches on his Christian beliefs in helping to prevent segregation that was present in the United States between the black Americans and the white Americans. Due to his leadership approach, reforms were implemented to address the concerns and issues affecting the blacks (Tenney, 2014).
Summary of the Principles of Servant Leadership Employed By the Leader
Some of the principles of servant leadership employed by the leader include being a good listener to his followers. Good listening skills are important for any servant leader as this helps the leader in understanding his/her follower’s needs (Tenney, 2014). Martin Luther King Jr. always gave his followers an opportunity to air their opinions and concerns, which helped the movement in making important decisions, which later bore fruit and were successful in addressing their concerns (Tenney, 2014). Martin Luther King Jr. also applied servant leadership principles by building a strong community by addressing the divisions, which were there between the people and had caused the problems that they were experiencing. Servant leadership focuses in building strong communities, which are important in empowering the individuals and improving trust between the members (Tenney, 2014).
Examples to Illustrate the Leader’s Application of Servant Leadership Principles
Martin Luther King Jr. applied servant leadership principles in different perspectives, which can be seen when he collaborated with Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement, which led to the success that he achieved as the leader of this movement (Spears et al., 2015). Martin Luther King Jr. also collaborated with other members who included his fellow clergy and friends, which indicate that success is not an individual aspect but rather a result of teamwork (Spears et al., 2015). Martin always engaged with his friends and members of the civil rights movement before implementing any initiative, which allowed the members to participate in the decision-making process (Spears et al., 2015).
Despite Martin Luther King Jr. being named the man of the year in 1964 by the Time magazine, he continued applying the principles of servant leadership by reaching out and serving the poor Americans (Spears et al., 2015). This empowered the individuals who were encouraged to continue fighting for their rights. A servant leader focuses on his followers by identifying and serving their needs, which was witnessed when Martin Luther King Jr. served other people in the community instead of focusing on his needs. This is important in increasing trust and encouraging the followers (Spears et al., 2015).
Information about the Unique Way the Leader Inspires Followership
Martin Luther King Jr. based his leadership style on Christian principles, which were taught by Jesus Christ, which focused on leaders serving others (Blanchard & Broadwell, 2018). Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement without using violence or disobedience of the civil laws, which inspired most of his followers (Blanchard & Broadwell, 2018). The leader also consulted with his fellow clergy as well as his followers on important matters before making any decisions. This is important in motivating followers as this indicates that the leader is considerate of their views and opinions (Blanchard & Broadwell, 2018). This shifts the leader’s perspective from fulfilling his/her own needs to focus on the followers needs. This also shows that a leader is selfless in his/her ambitions, which inspires followership (Blanchard ; Broadwell, 2018).
Discussion of What Would You Seek To Emulate or See More Of In Your Own Organization from both the People Who Lead You and the Leadership You Provide To Others
There are certain principles if emulated may lead to success in an organization as well as benefit all those involved in the organization. One of the principles to emulate from my leaders is putting the needs of others before your own (McCuistion, 2018). This is important since it shows how selfless a leader is which improves trust between the leader and his/her followers. Selfish leaders discourage their members in performing their roles and responsibilities (McCuistion, 2018). Another principle to emulate from my leaders is the engagement of other members of the organization in the decision-making process. This is important in getting different perspectives as knowledge is not given only to the leader but the employees may provide useful information, which a leader may fail to benefit from if he/she neglects the other members of the organization (McCuistion, 2018).
Blanchard, K., ; Broadwell, R. (2018). Servant Leadership in Action: How You Can Achieve Great Relationships and Results. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Incorporated.
McCuistion, D. (2018). About Leaders. 9 Ways to Motivate People Using Servant Leadership. Retrieved from https://aboutleaders.com/9-ways-to-motivate-people-using-servant-leadership/#gs.nYHGPhM
Spears, L. C., McFarland, M., Ferch, S. R., Carey, M. R., ; State University of New York Press. (2015). Conversations on servant-leadership: Insights on human courage in life and work. New York: SUNY Press.
Tenney, M. (2014). Serve to be great: Leadership lessons from a prison, a monastery, and a boardroom. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.