Servant Leadership in Action | Kenneth H. Blanchard

Summary of: Servant Leadership in Action: How You Can Achieve Great Relationships and Results
By: Kenneth H. Blanchard

Introduction

In a world where leadership is often driven by self-interest and the pursuit of power, ‘Servant Leadership in Action’ presents an alternative approach that places love, empathy, and service at its core. This book summary will reveal the key aspects and behaviors of servant leadership, which are designed to serve a higher purpose and positively impact those around us. The themes covered will include the importance of a meaningful vision, challenging the traditional hierarchy, practices to develop servant leadership skills, and inspiring case studies.

The Power of Servant Leadership

The current leadership model is dominated by self-serving leaders who prioritize power over their people. In contrast, the concept of servant leadership emphasizes a purposeful direction and a carefully conceived implementation that serve a higher purpose.
Servant leaders inspire their followers by embodying meaningful values and a sense of corporate purpose. The ultimate goal is to positively impact the world and make it a better place for everyone.
By serving their followers and helping them achieve their goals, servant leaders create a life-giving and life-freeing mindset that releases people. Walt Disney’s success in the entertainment industry is a great example of someone who understood the power of a clear leadership purpose. As a servant leader, it is crucial to have a purpose that resonates emotionally with others and inspires them to work towards a common goal.
Overall, the power of servant leadership lies in its ability to prioritize love over power and inspire positive change in the world.

Servant Leadership

The traditional pyramid-shaped hierarchy in business leads to unproductive “boss-watching” as lower-level employees try to serve their supervisors, leaving customers ignored. Servant leaders turn the pyramid upside down by being responsive to their people’s needs and exercising 10 notable behaviors, including listening, empathy, and stewardship. These leaders bring people together in sustainable communities and help employees grow both professionally and personally. Servant leadership requires constant commitment and intense focus, which can be maintained by using the AIWATT mnemonic device. Servant leadership works by putting others first and serving them, rather than asking to be catered to. Leaders who practice servant leadership and build meaningful relationships with their employees can bring out the best in them and achieve lasting success.

The Art of Servant Leadership

Phyllis Hennecy Hendry learned about servant leadership from her father and teaches readers how to lead by serving others. Hendry’s father, a pastor, would spend Saturday mornings with his daughter visiting neighbors, including a crotchety old man named Lunn who was initially resistant to his religious teachings. Hendry’s father continued to visit Lunn, and they developed a friendship centered around fishing and world news. Hendry questioned her father’s commitment to visiting Lunn since he would not attend church. Her father told her they were “washing Lunn’s feet,” teaching her that serving others was more important than anything else. Months later, Lunn surprised everyone by attending Hendry’s father’s church and sharing that he wanted to learn about his faith. Hendry’s experience with her father taught her the value of servant leadership, where behavior isn’t just about getting things done but how they get done.

The Art of Servant Leadership

The figure of the servant leader is renowned in religious teaching and history. The book highlights effective servant leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Jesus Christ, a prominent example of servant leadership, taught that anyone wanting to become great must serve others. His 12 disciples, whom he molded into the “first generation of leaders” 2,000 years ago, are a testament to his leadership style. Today, Christianity is a thriving belief system with millions of followers. Being an effective servant leader means providing resources to sustain team members or family.

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