Leadership and trust emerge from true willingness to work for others - Liderando la reputación corporativa de las empresas - Corporate
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Reputation & Reputational Risks

Book summaries January 2016

Leadership and trust emerge from true willingness to work for others

Document prepared by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership and among other sources, contains references to the book The Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf, founder of the modern Servant leadership movement and the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (Indiana, USA) and former research director at AT&T.

Greenleaf starts his argument with the idea that in times of crisis, private interests take precedence, undermining trust between people. That’s why, in order to recover this lost trust, leaders must display a sincere, altruistic commitment to contributing to society.

The Servant Leadership explains the concepts of charismatic, situational, relational, transactional and transformational leadership to finally claim the idea of servant leadership.

This model foregrounds moral considerations in a strategy that, on the other hand, seems the most suited to reconciling corporate culture with the ethics applying to the business world, as it encourages a long-term, reflective, humanist vision that promotes respect for people as the very core of companies.

This leadership model sets out seven pillars that should define a servant leader and suggest, at the same time, ten skills that all servant leaders should have.

In Maslow’s model, according to Greenleaf, these needs are linked to admiration but, above all, to personal fulfilment: creativity, self-improvement and, in particular, personal development.

Greenleaf’s leadership paradigm represents a paradox: leadership is not obtained in order to be served but rather to serve. The more the leader serves and the better they do so, the better the leader they are. The more the leader serves and the better they do so, the better the leader they are.

To conclude, the author poses three questions that servant leaders should ask themselves to guarantee they're fulfilling their role, boosting the development of their stakeholders, promoting their own leadership and having a positive impact on the communities where they operate.