When thinking of leadership and its manifestation in health care, many people imagine a conventional hierarchy with a leader placed above the followers in order to lead and empower. However, over the past decades, the paradigm of leadership has shifted from authority to compassion and role modeling through empathy and participation (Gandolfi & Stone, 2018). Indeed, the phenomenon of servant leadership has now become of the leading models of leadership, especially as far as the healthcare segment is concerned. The fundamental principle of servant leadership is the leader’s primary objective to serve in the interest of the followers in order to empower them and encourage their value in a team. In such a way, according to Grand Canyon University (2018), “employees value their own performance when they know their performance is being valued” (Chapter 3, “Servant leadership” section). The concept of servant leadership is based on the principles of respect and empathy. A servant leader born in the image of God should place the needs of others first in order for them to recognize the leader as a role model worth following.
Among numerous qualities associated with servant leadership, the two qualities that define such an approach the most include listening and stewardship. The former manifests the leader’s ability to hear the concerns of every follower in an active manner by ensuring change and reaction that follows the concern. The thoughts and ideas expressed by the team become of paramount importance for a servant leader whose purpose is to build a community of self-aware and valuable individuals. Stewardship, for its part, focuses on the process of fulfilling the needs of others for people to feel recognized and appreciated within the team. In such a way, the leader’s conscious desire to serve others to gain trust and respect lays a foundation for meaningful and productive interpersonal collaboration.
Gandolfi, F., & Stone, S. (2018). Leadership, leadership styles, and servant leadership. Journal of Management Research, 18(4), 261-269.
Grand Canyon University. (2018). Nursing leadership & management: Leading and serving [E-book]. Web.