Servant Leadership: Principles and Practices

Course description
Poor and ineffective leadership is evident everywhere in business and society today, which results in negative consequences for people, business, society, as well as the environment. Millions are spent on leadership development worldwide, but the negative effects of poor and ineffective leadership remain evident. Some scholars blame the education process and suggest we should use alternative ways to train leaders. Others are of the opinion that the world is changing too fast to keep up with the leadership demand. Perhaps the root cause of the problem is not the education process, nor the fast-changing world, but rather the leadership practice that is taught in business schools, universities, schools, and companies. Business, society, and people are in dire need of a more effective and comprehensive leadership practice, namely servant leadership."Servant leadership is a comprehensive leadership practice that starts with an intent to serve that flows into a set of leadership principles and practices to empower people, to build effective, sustaining, and significant organizations and to create a humane society." (Coetzer, 2019). Servant leadership is an integrative leadership theory, meaning that it includes leadership traits, leadership behaviors (or styles), and leadership contingency variables that are all relevant for effective leadership. Servant leadership includes dimensions of all other leadership theories and styles but is different and truly unique because it includes (1) a heart-dimension of leadership, (2) it has a people-first philosophy and (3) it aims to create value for multiple stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, society, and the environment). Servant leadership also includes other leadership dimensions that are absent from any other leadership theory, such as compassion and humility, and has proven to provide significant positive results for people, teams and organizations. The purpose of this course is to equip leaders with the attributes and competencies to apply strategic and operational servant leadership to empower employees, to build effective, sustaining, and significant organizations and to create a humane society while protecting the environment. This course is divided into four modules. Module one provides an overview of leadership theories and introduces servant leadership. Module two explains two strategic servant leadership functions to set and translate a high purpose vision; and to apply effective practices to enhance leadership capability. Module three discusses two operational servant leadership functions to align employees effectively in the organization; to create an effective climate and culture in the organization; to apply good stewardship in creating value for multiple stakeholders; to monitor performance, progress, and impact; and to continuously improve the products, processes, policies, and systems of the company. In module four, several frameworks are provided to implement servant leadership. A textbook is available for this course that explains the course content in more detail and that provides multiple application resources to apply the knowledge of this course in any context: Coetzer, M. F. (2019). Leading business beyond profit: A practical guide to leading a business to profit and significance. Bloomington, US: Westbow Press.




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