Servant leaders are known to serve others first in order to achieve and maintain high performance by their followers resulting in greater success for their organization Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organization...
In addition to the books used for research I reviewed several articles on both servant leadership and agile development where I was able to being to piece together each methodology.
While servant leadership is a concept I’ve heard about many times in the past, I wasn’t sure where it originated, so I did some research and found that the phrase was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay he first published in 1970. In the essay, Greenleaf says:
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 difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. 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?
On September 8, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy passed away at age 93. From what I’ve learned about the way Cathy ran his business, I think he’s a great example of a servant leader.
Cathy, who was born into poverty, started the business as a small diner in Atlanta. This year, it became the number one chicken chain in the United States, with more than 1,800 restaurants.
And customers rewarded Cathy for those types of choices. Food market analysts say Chik-fil-A scored far above average with its customers when they were asked questions about their “emotional connection” to the restaurant and whether the restaurant “has values that are similar to my own.” He was able to forge a culture at Chik-fil-A that perpetuated the servant leadership mentality way beyond one person—and that’s an incredible accomplishment.
Cathy’s unwavering principles, good work habits, and attitude—which I believe created a servant leadership mentality—helped him start his restaurant in 1946. Those same principles remain intact for the business today. Cathy decided not to open his restaurants on Sundays—even though it’s estimated to cost the company billions of dollars—because he believed his employees deserved a day of rest. He refused to take the company public because he didn’t want that decision to be changed and he wanted to keep a focus on the company’s charitable work, mainly sponsoring foster homes and homes for abused and neglected children. He also launched the WinShape scholarship program at Berry College, mostly given to young employees of his restaurant chain.
Indeed, Robert K. Greenleaf, who coined the term “servant leadership” in his foundational 1970 essay, The Servant as Leader, said that foresight is the key to being – and remaining – a leader:
In case you would like to know where Mr Cathy got his principles of servant leadership. It comes from the Bible and more specifically, the model of servant leadership came from the example of Jesus Christ who is the essence of the story of the New Testament.
Foresight is the power of foreseeing what will be needed in the future. It’s certainly among the cardinal virtues of servant leadership.
God bless Mr. Cathy, let’s not forget that the true sentiment and embodiment of “servant leadership” was exemplified, spoken and delivered way before 1970, the Bible tells us about servant leadership to this day.
The analysis will define two leadership models and provide specific examples for each model that will be presented; Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership and the behaviors to model, if one intends to be a Servant Leade...
Mr. Cathy’s leadership style, in part, saw his employees as his customer. Business leaders who recognize this and strive to lead in this way position their business to bring an excellent product or service to their market. I have always admired the way in which Chik-til-A operated their business and the values they embraced. We do not have a store in our area, but we always make a point of stopping at a Chik-fil-A when we travel as a family. I hope Mr. Cathy’s example and business principals will live on through those that follow him in the business. Thanks for the story and reminder of what a servant leader looks like.
This paper first explores the significance of the leadership change, followed by an examination of three notable characteristics of servant leadership and their historical influence through the eyes of a famous leader....