Saturday, July 23, 2011

Servant Leadership- An Altruistic Approach

Recently came across this word ‘Altruistic’ wanted to understand the deeper meaning of the same and its day to day relevance in our work culture. Altruistic means to show unselfish concern for the welfare of others, so an altruistic approach would be a selfless one. Now how can we apply this to our corporate world? - Is it by serving others - customers, business associates or co- employees.

Practicing altruism is the real source of compromise and cooperation; merely recognizing our need for harmony is not enough. A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir - a constant source of energy, determination and kindness. This is like a seed; when cultivated, gives rise to many other good qualities, such as forgiveness, tolerance, inner strength and the confidence to overcome fear and insecurity. The compassionate mind is like an elixir; it is capable of transforming bad situation into beneficial ones. Therefore, we should not limit our expressions of love and compassion to our family and friends. Nor is the compassion only the responsibility of clergy, health care and social workers. It is the necessary business of every part of the human community.

For this one has to develop a spiritual temper. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition. The concept has a long history in philosophical and ethical thought; materialistic struggle for personal gain is no way to make the world a better place. We should try to ignore the monetary aspect and put people at the heart of what we do, concentrating on what will be of real benefit to others. And if we are serving honestly money should follow.

Many illnesses can be cured by this one medicine of love and compassion to others. These qualities are the ultimate source of human happiness, and need for them lies at the very core of every being. Unfortunately, love and compassion have been omitted from too many spheres of social interaction for too long. Usually confined to family and home, their practice in public life is considered impractical, even naive. This is tragic. The practice of compassion is the most effective way to pursue the best interest of others as well as our own.

What ever is a conflict - an altruistic approach is frequently the sole means of resolving it. At times, when a resolution seems impossible, both sides should recall the basic human nature that unites them. This will help break the impasse and, in the long run, make it easier for everyone to attain their goal. After all we have to keep in mind our interdependent nature.

We can always learn from the nature by observing small insects, ants and bees. The laws of nature dictate that bees work together in order to survive. As a result, they possess an instinctive sense of social responsibility. They have no constitution, laws, police, religion or moral training, but because of their nature they labor faithfully together. In general the whole colony survives on the basis of cooperation. Human beings, on the other hand, have constitutions, vast legal systems and police forces; we have religion, remarkable intelligence and a heart with great capacity to love. But despite our many extraordinary qualities, in actual practice we lag behind those small insects; in some ways, I feel we are poorer than the bees.

When we are unable to share, we suffer from lack of love, loneliness, for instance, millions of people live together in large cities all over the world, but despite this proximity, many are lonely. Some do not have even one human being with whom to share their deepest feelings, and live in a state of perpetual agitation. This is very sad. We are not solitary animals, if we were, why would we build large cities and towns? But even though we are social animals compelled to live together, unfortunately, we lack sense of responsibility towards our fellow humans. Does the fault lie in our social architecture? Is it our own external facilities - our machines, science and technology? Or is it just a smile away? Just away by a spontaneous feeling of empathy.

I believe that despite the rapid advances made by civilization in this century, the most immediate cause of our present dilemma is our undue emphasis on material development alone. We have become so engrossed in its pursuit that, without even knowing it, we have neglected to foster the most basic human needs of love, kindness, cooperation and caring. The development of human society is based entirely on people helping each other. Once we have lost the essential humanity that is our foundation, what is the point of pursuing only material improvement?

Servant leadership puts emphasis on serving others, whether customers, employees, or community, as the number one priority in the business. Servant leadership emphasizes increased service to others, a holistic approach to work, promoting a sense of community, and the sharing of power in decision making. At its core, servant leadership is not a quick fix or magic bullet to organizational leadership. It is, however, a transformational approach to life and work and has the potential to create positive change throughout society.

Servant leadership deals with a reality of power in everyday life, its legitimacy, the ethical restraints upon it and the beneficial results that can be attained through the appropriate use of power. Servant leaders are those who serve with a focus on the others, the servant leader leads and serves with an altruistic approach. This leader also empowers others, acts with humility, exhibits love, leads with service, is trusting, and is a visionary for others.

Servant Leaders help others selflessly just for the sake of helping, which involves personal sacrifice, even though there is no personal gain. The traditional view of altruism as an unselfish concern for others often involves personal sacrifices; however the servant leader gets personal pleasure in helping others. This is the true understanding of altruism.

24 comments:

  1. Hey there! Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I really enjoyed your post. Have a great weekend!
    Following back,
    Jackie
    http://sahmcity.com

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  2. I totally agree. We are so in touch with each other via technology and are so conditioned to want "more" and "faster," we tend to neglect the very things that make us human.

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  3. Hi Sonia, Thank you for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading your intelligent and thoughtful posts.

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  4. Hi I found your blog on MBC. I'm now following you.I love this post. I must share this with my kids. If only we all exemplified this. Thanks for sharing

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  5. Beautiful Blog! I am now following please come and follow me, God bless Rashida

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  6. So sometimes I think MBC doesn't have much to offer and then BAM! I find such an amazing post.

    Inspiring words.

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  7. Hi! I'm a follower from the MBC. :) Best Regards! :)

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  8. Shakti Deen, anil girish, and Dheeraj Maini like this @ Linkedin

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  9. THanks Jackie you are welcome.

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  10. Yes Jenn, thats what is the reminder of this post as well.

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  11. yes sure, aspiring new moms.

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  12. yes Natasha, implementation is really important.

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  13. thanks Des, you are welcome.

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  14. A very inspiring piece and lovely pics.

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  15. I cannot agree with you more about the nature of true altruism. What I wonder about most is how to nurture this is our children.

    Thanks for your words. Following you from MBC.

    http://killsuperwoman.blogspot.com

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  16. Yes CJ, it can be nurtured in the kids for sure, from an early childhood by daily little examples.

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  17. thanx 4 visiting my blog. I liked your blog, you write well
    bye

    www.iseeebirds.blogspot.com
    www.depalan.blogspot.com

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  18. Hello. Nicely done blog; thank you. One thought regarding altruism, according to Greenleaf (1977) organizational altruism is active and, at times, hard won; It is generally not considered in a passive tone: placing the needs of others before our own runs contrary to our fallen, self-consumed natures. Positive empirical data, however, indicates the fight for altruistic leadership is well worth the effort both organizationally and individually. Thanks for allowing for my comment.

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  19. that's really a good insight Mark, thanks

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  20. Great Post! I find your blog very helpful for altruistic leadership and I am sure others do as well. Keep up the good work!
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