In this page, we bring to you some of the articles published in our College Journal, Mosaic, issue of 2004. Here is an article written by David Ferral Marbaniang, faculty of Business Administration
You have been chosen to lead, and boy, oh boy, aren't you excited. Finally you got the chance to become the "top dog", "numero uno", "the big cheese"! And you can't wait to start leading people – telling them what to do and how to do it. After all, isn't this the power model for leadership? Hey wait! What's that other word which has something to do with "servant"? Yes, you may ask yourself what in the world the word "servant" has got to do with being a leader. Well, aren't those the "small insignificant people" who are supposed to be serving you food and do the laundry for you?
"Whoever would be greatest among you must be servant of all." Those were the words of Jesus – one of the greatest leaders who once walked on the face of the earth. According to Robert K Greenleaf "The premise of servant leadership is that the leader is one who seeks to serve and that this serving is a natural component of the leader." So, think again! True leadership is not about being served; instead it's all about serving.
It is by default that the word "leadership" has been and is wrongly associated with power, control, authority, prestige, popularity, etc. How do words like humility, compassion, gentleness, merciful, pure-in-heart, and peace-maker sound? Not exactly words that come to mind as we look at our world leaders today, are they? Only few people are worthy role models for being servant leaders. Let's check out something more about this word "servant leadership".
Servant Leadership is different from servanthood. No, I'm not talking about being a "doormat". Servant Leadership is all about relationship – a relationship in which one person seeks to influence the thoughts, behaviours, beliefs or values of another person. It is about service, about shepherds who care for the sheep. It is about vision and hope; character and trust; relationships and power (not for keeps, but for delegation); dependency and accountability. And it's about those who wish to make a difference; not change the world!
It takes much more than knowledge to become an outstanding leader today. Leadership demands a servant heart. Servant leaders are not leaders on the basis of their position, but rather lead according to their calling, vision and principles. Apart from humility, compassion, mercy, friendliness, honesty, care, self-sacrifice, empathy, etc. there are a few things that define and give an insight into the personalities and characteristics of servant leaders.
Some of the characteristics that have been explained come more easily and naturally to some people than to others. Though it is difficult to be a practising servant leader at all times, yet all should assess the degree to which we have what it takes to become a servant leader. So turn the "power model" upside down – be a servant leader and make an impact!