MGT 410 -Principles of Servant Leadership in Diverse Contexts Assignment Instructions
While servant leadership is often associated with Christianity and the Bible, one could argue it is compatible with most religions and philosophies and that it transcends cultures. This assignment presents you with an opportunity to explore other cultures, philosophies, and religions and asks you to think critically about how servant leadership practices are apparent in other religious and cultural values.
Select one cultural context e.g Indian Culture Context and one religious viewpoint e.g Islam Religious Viewpoint (other than Christianity, its denominations, or something already discussed in the textbook) and examine how the principles of servant leadership are evident in that culture and religion. In a 1,250-1,500-word essay, identify similarities and differences between servant leadership’s philosophies and the values evident in the selected cultural context and religious viewpoint. Be sure to provide specific examples of practices and or values in your discussion.
You are required to locate two articles that examine servant leadership from a different cultural perspective and two articles that examine servant leadership from a different religious perspective. Be sure to select academic articles from reputable sources that are 10-20 pages in length. Include information from the articles in your discussion.
Principles of Servant Leadership in Indian Cultural Context and Islam Religion View
Servant leadership refers to a leadership form where the leaders offer priority to the followers through nurturing and empathy. According to Liu, Hu & Cheng (2015) servant leader is first considered a servant before he shows his leadership aspirations. The servant leadership style implements a unique perspective when it comes to the leadership literature based on the fact that the theory has its focus upon the fact that a leader acts as a servant to meet the needs of the followers. The identified quality calls upon doing away with self-interest to ensure the interest of the followers are first met. The identified research will look into the application of servant leadership theory within the Indian cultural context and in the Islam religion view.
Servant Leadership in India
It is evident that India is a fascinating region characterized by different cultures, languages, as well as religion. Various leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi have become role models in the region as a result of their great leadership features. The leader implemented a servant leadership model during his time therefore showing evidence of it in the Indian culture. There is extensive evidence showing that servant leadership has been and is still being practiced in India. For instance, Rohm Jr. and Osula (2013) reveal several examples of literature showing the origin of the style within the culture. According to the author, the Gita tradition of the Indian culture requires the leaders to be humanistic. This means an individual without any form of personal gain but one with a high level personal concern for the subordinates. Therefore, the leader in this case is required to be compassionate, friendly, not egoistic, forgiving and knows how to balance pain and pleasure. The outlined are some of the servant leadership features. Arthasastra, one of the ancient Indian literatures in management considers the duties of a king to include the happiness and welfare of the followers. Whatever pleases the followers was also what pleased the king. Incidentally, the identified duties define servant leadership attributes.
The servant leadership behavioral scale model outlines a set of 6 dimensions of the servant leadership behavior which forms a basis of the similarities of the model as implemented in Christianity and Islam. The dimensions include voluntary subordination, covenantal relationship, authentic self, responsible morality, transforming influence, and transcendental spirituality. Through the implementation of the outlined dimensions in the case of Mahatma Gandhi, the similarities and differences in the philosophies and values of the servant leadership theory as presented in the case of the Indian cultural context is provided.
Voluntary subordination provides an insight into the revolutionary act that requires a person to abandon himself and act as a servant to the others (Barnabas & Clifford, 2012). Gandhi is a representation of a service to mankind. Despite the fact that a larger percentage of leaders elevate themselves above their followers, Gandhi represented the people he strived to lead. He was a representation of service rather than power based on the fact that the he made efforts to meet the services of the people through offering voluntary services to his followers.
Acting as a Servant
The quality of becoming a servant requires the leaders to make their followers their first priority before themselves. Literature shows that Gandhi is one of the leading servants when it comes to humanity (Barnabas & Clifford, 2012). Incidentally the leader considered serving the people as a privilege as well as pleasure. It is evident that the leader considered his service to the poor as a desire of his heart that has thrown him among the poor making him able to identify with them. Prevalently, service only derives meaning after a person takes pleasure in it without considering the opinion of the public.
Acts of Service
Gandhi is also a representation of how Indian leaders provide their services to the people. It is eminent that the service of Mahatma Gandhi begun during the days when the leader was in South Africa. Gandhi offered to teach the Indians free of change to enable them enhance their living conditions despite the racial tension in the region (Barnabas & Clifford, 2012). There is also an instance when the leader offered food to a leper, dressed him, and even took him to hospital. It is also a fact that Gandhi volunteered to save live during the incidence of the pneumonic plague. The leader volunteered despite the risks involved in turn disregarding any form of infection that he was likely to obtain during his service. In addition, during the time when Gandhi was in South Africa, a large number of Zulus were injured as a result of the Zulu rebellion. No one was willing to look after the injured. As a result, alongside other 23 volunteers from the Indian community, Gandhi took him upon himself to come up with and Indian ambulance corps to take care after the injured in the community and take care of their health.
Servant leaders have the capability of leading authentically as reflected in their constant character of humility, accountability, integrity, vulnerability, and security. Gandhi has depicted the feature of authentic self as portrayed in his subsidiary features as discussed hereby. It is a fact that Gandhi is a leader with a humble character. There is no instance when the leader sought influential posts despite being a leader of the Indian National Congress. He later sacrificed his life for India after independence (Barnabas & Clifford, 2012). It is also a fact that the leader showed high levels of integrity. In South Africa, Gandhi forgave his oppressors showing consistency in his words and actions. The people in South Africa threw stones and bricks at him and even tore his clothes as a result of resentment.
The outlined quality of covenantal relationship requires the leaders to establish a profound and lasting relationship with the followers. Considering Gandhi’s case, it is prevalent that the leader had established the relationship with the people through collaboration, promoting equality and acceptance.
Gandhi always appealed to higher moral values which were ethically justified. As is, he led the Indians to bloodless revolutions described by non-violence and forgiveness. In addition, he always implemented moral reasoning even during the British war.
It is a fact that religion drove Gandhi’s life. Aspects such as truth and non-violence are an indication of the leader’s transcendental spirituality. It is a fact that the leader believed in the Bhagavad Gita as he continually memorized the verses prevalent in the book. Furthermore, the leader was also committed to his mission of service delivery to the people other than exercising power over them.
Transforming the influence on other people is regarded as a fundamental when it comes to servant leadership. Trust is one of the ways that Gandhi transformed his influence on the people. Incidentally, Gandhi was willing to share his authority and leadership responsibilities with the people despite the risk involve. The outlined is common in South Africa when the Black Act was passed. Gandhi led the Indians to resist the requirements of the Act.
Servant Leadership in Islam
Servant leadership is evident within the Islamic religion. Drawing from the meaning of the word “Islam”, it is evident that the members of the Islamic religion are required to always surrender to God’s will. According to the Quran, it is evident that members of the Islamic religion are the best persons ever brought up for the good of the human race since they have been raised in a manner that they serve others. Haddara and Enanny (2009) depicts that the basic qualities that every Muslim must have to serve mankind or to develop a passion for serving the human race includes humility, love, kindness, honesty, desire to share knowledge, a thirst for knowledge, and the desire to further Allah’s cause through good actions. Incidentally, the Muslims must always be people from whom their goodness acts for the benefit of the other people available in the society.
Similar to Christianity, servant leaders is based on trust. Looking at various examples of leadership as presented in the Quran, it is evident that leadership is based on accountability and trust (Rohm Jr., and Osula, 2013). The two aspects go hand in hand. Under trust, it is a commonality that Adam was created to play the vicegerent role on earth. Adam had the obligation of accepting trust by indicating that man undertook trust after mountains and heavens were afraid to take it. As a result, God taught Adam the name of all and provided him with the responsibility of establishing justice on earth. This was a representation of Adam’s responsibility to the followers. Therefore, it is a fact that the Islam religion requires the leaders to be responsible of their subjects. This is also the case in a family setting where the man is responsible for the other members of the family. Under accountability, it is evident that God is accountable for his people.The Quran emphasizes on accountability where every prophet is not required to deceive the human race. The queen of Sheba is regarded as a good leader in the Quran as she handled the threat that Sueliman brought upon the people (Haddara and Enanny, 2009).
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