NUR 674 Week 4 Discussion
NUR 674 Week 4 Discussion
DQ1When one considers the word love as a verb instead of a feeling, the biblical worldview would state that this loving relationship is related to two principles: honor and protection. Explain how these two principles guide servant leadership in the workplace.
DQ2How do servant leaders, as compared with leaders using the transformational model of leadership, manage organization dynamics and lead change to ensure that the continued success of the stakeholders will be served? Is servant leadership or transformational leadership the best approach to these tasks? Why?
Greenleaf describes the servant leader as one who “begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”9 Servant leadership can be a philosophy, a set of leadership practices, and a set of leadership qualities (). Since 1995, authors have defined and refined the characteristics of a servant leader.7 Although Russell and Stone distinguished at least 20 attributes of servant leadership, Spears summarized 10 characteristics of servant leaders as: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community.10,11 While the theory of servant leadership resembles other leadership theories, none of the other theories encompass all the characteristics of a servant leader.7 A servant leader shares power, puts the needs of others first, helps individuals develop and optimize performance, is willing to learn from others, and forsakes personal advancement and rewards. Servant leaders concentrate on performance planning, day-to-day coaching, and helping people achieve. They provide vision, and their team understands their expectations and desired outcomes. The ultimate responsibility of the servant leader is the enduring investment of the leader’s life in the lives of those who follow.12 As the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi said “A leader is best when people barely know he exists; when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”13
Shared governance is expected and widely practiced in academic pharmacy.3 Leaders who seek power do not truly develop others, and power must be shared to succeed.17 However, servant leadership makes shared governance feasible and less formidable. In a turbulent organizational landscape, employers utilize shared governance as they rely on employees to be creative, autonomous problem solvers. A servant leader builds teams, listens, heals, persuades and empowers followers until a consensus is reached. A servant leader ensures successful shared governance by building effective teams
. Indeed, servant leadership promotes team effectiveness.18 For example, using the servant leadership questionnaire, the team effectiveness scale, and structural equation modeling, servant leadership was positively associated with the effectiveness of the team.18,19
Servant leadership promotes learning-focused classrooms.20 According to Spear, servant leadership is adopted in undergraduate and graduate courses to support systems thinking and community building.21 Based on the narratives of students’ reflective journals, interviews, and unsolicited comments, the hallmark characteristics of the servant leader (ie, listening, empathy, healing, persuasion, awareness, foresight, commitment to the growth of individuals, conceptualization, stewardship, focus on building community) optimize the learner-focused classroom.20 Using 18 characteristics of a servant leader and a convenience sample, Drury found a high correlation between effectiveness of professors and servant leadership.22 Moreover, student-focused principles of servant leadership “provide a starting point for the development of a ‘new’ paradigm of teaching.”23
In addition to upholding the key features of the academic enterprise, servant leadership produces results. For example, servant leadership and job satisfaction have a strong relationship for faculty and nonfaculty members.24 Studies also suggest increased organizational commitment under servant leadership, with productivity increasing by as much as 50%.25,26
The servant leadership model is not without its critics. Some critics posit that servant leaders may fall short when compared to transformational leaders when business environments are extremely competitive, experience rapid change, require risk taking, and involve a careful balance of organizational and individual goals. However, in 2011 servant leadership was practiced by half of the top-10 companies ranked by Forbes Magazine: SAS (1), Wegmans Food Market (3), Zappos.com (6), Nugget Market (8) and Recreational Equipment Incorporated (9).27 The size of the company was not a factor as the servant leader organizations ranged in size from 1200 to 167 000. 27 In 2014, one-third of the top 35 companies practiced servant leadership, most of which are household names: Marriott, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, AFLAC, Starbucks, Men’s Wearhouse, Nestle, ServiceMaster, UPS, GE.28 Thus, servant leadership produces results in numerous industries in ever-changing environments.
The core tenet of servant leadership is the desire to serve. While all leaders serve, the real question is who they serve. Exemplary leaders serve others.12 Nancy Ortberg, renowned author and religious leader, claimed, “Serving means that when a person leaves my sphere of influence, he or she will be a better person and leader because of the time spent with me.”17 However, the emphasis on serving encompasses more than employees and their development; servant leaders make the needs of consumers, employees, and communities their top priority.12,29 The concepts of servant leadership expand to relationships between parents and children, educators and students, and service personnel and customers. In each of these relationships, the needs of others should be the focus of the organization. Servant leadership addresses the responsibilities and relationships between parents and children, educators and students, employees and customers, investors and shareholders. It entails placing the needs of others at the forefront of every organization, institution, business, agency, department and group.29 Therefore, one may expand the view of a servant leader from that of one individual to an entire organization. Tom Peters, author and inspirational-management expert, states that “Organizations exist to serve…Period. Leaders live to serve…Period.”30
Critics question the success of servant leadership in higher education, health care, and the education of health care professionals. These areas are targets of scrutiny, defined outcomes, increasing regulation, and tight funding streams. Numerous institutions of higher learning include servant leadership in their programs, even some that educate and train health care professionals.20,22,23,27,29,31-36 Several universities offer servant leadership educational programming including some degree programs.37 Additionally, servant leadership practices are used in the classroom in the form of servant teaching, which focuses on student-centered learning.20,22,23,33,34 The pharmacy programs at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Concordia University, and Cedarville University incorporate servant leadership into their culture and mission and strive to produce servant leaders for the pharmacy profession.
Servant leadership should be considered a prominent model for health care. Servant leadership emphasizes trust and empowerment in interprofessional relationships including relationships with patients and the community.38,39 With major challenges affecting the health care system, servant leadership may inspire necessary change so that all health care stakeholders concentrate on serving the patient, team, and community.38-40 Engaging stakeholders to serve others creates sustainability by providing an enhanced value proposition that improves the quality of care and reduces costs.38
Academic pharmacy calls for servant leadership because it thrives on shared governance and development of individuals. In addition, academic pharmacy is now being re-engineered and restructured. The profession has moved from a product orientation to a patient focus. Clinical training requirements have greatly expanded. Providing high-quality and safe medical care with continuous quality improvement is expected. Service to the patient requires academic pharmacists to be servant leaders with empathy, kindness, healing, and persuasion.