Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Servant Leadership and Change

Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.
- H. Jackson Brown
The ability to adapt and bend is important when addressing change in this fast-paced marketplace.  As H. Jackson Brown, the author who wrote many of those Life's Little Instruction Books, said: "Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor."  For those businesses that are out there in the mix of the chaos, it is easier for them to move to another partner or change the to speak. 

The role and style of leadership is particularly critical when facilitating change.  A leader shares the “vision of what could be and speaks a new organizational future into existence” (Lloyd & Maguire, 2002). Purposeful dialogue, courage and vision allow for change to manifest and for those changes to remain sustainable (Quy Nguyen & Mintzberg, 2003).  A leader must be virtuous also.  According to Cameron (2006), “when people are exposed to virtuous acts, they are attracted to them and elevated by them."

Servant Leader and Change

The servant leader is compassionate, shows integrity, is trusting, yet, and has a vision.  A servant leader promotes and encourages change by taking the time to understand and serve the needs of others (Cameron, 2006).  As the servant leader puts the subordinate first, change is promoted and encouraged through understanding and encouragement (Pajunen, 2006).  The sustainability of change is dependent on the relationship between leader and follower (Pajunen, 2006).

Stewardship is foremost in the change process as a servant leader wants to impact the lives of those they serve.  By doing so, this impacts the corporation or organization (Blanchard, 2010).  The values of the organization and its stakeholders need to be aligned in order to effectively and efficiently respond to change. It is this authentic, valued and trusted relationship cultivated by the servant leader that allows for stable and effective change.

Author: Andree C. Swanson, EdD


Blanchard, K. (2010). Leading at a higher level. Upper Saddle River, NJ. FT Press.

Cameron, K. (2006, May). Leading change. Leadership Excellence. p. 19.
Lloyd, M., & Maguire, S. (2002). The possibility horizon. Journal of Change Management, 3(2), 149.

Munduate, L., & Medina, F.J. (2004). Power, authority and leadership. In Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology

Pajunen, K. (2006). Stakeholder Influences in Organizational Survival. Journal of Management Studies, 43(6), 1261-1288. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.2006.00624.x

Quy Nguyen, H., & Mintzberg, H. (2003). The Rhythm of Change. MIT Sloan Management Review, 44(4), 79-84.

No comments:

Post a Comment