Servant leadership gets construed as a philosophy of leadership where the leader's primary goal is to serve. Different people have varying approaches towards leadership and most of them define a leader as a person who knows the way, shows the route and goes through the form. Moreover, a good leader often has a futuristic vision and can turn his or her ideas into success stories of the real world. Therefore, this paper is premised on a discussion regarding the significant traits of a leader and servant leadership, what it looks like to bring the notion of servant leadership to a police organization, the benefits, and pitfalls of servant leadership in a police organization, and ways of applying servant leadership ideas in a police organization.
Traits of a Leader
For one to be an effective leader, they should be confident enough to ascertain that other people follow their commands. A person should ooze with confidence, show assertiveness and some swagger to gain respect and trust of their subordinates without being overconfident (Quaquebeke, Graf, & Eckloff, 2014).
Persuading others to follow is always the most challenging work for a leader, and it can only be possible through inspiration by setting a good example. In many occassions, when the going becomes tough, subordinates look up to the leaders to see their reactions, and when handled well, they follow (Black, Morrison, & Gregersen, 2013). Moreover, as a leader, one should always think positive and use positive approaches to be visible through their actions.
Passion and Commitment
A leader is always the person to be looked up to by any team member, and for one to give it his or her all, they have to be passionate. For instance, when an employee sees a leader's hands getting dirty while trying to complete a task, he will also give his best shot. The action will assist gain the respect of most subordinates and allow infusion of new energy in the team members that enhance better performance (Day et al. 2014).
Until one communicates his vision to his team telling them the strategy in achieving a specific goal, it might be tough for a leader to get the results they need. A good leader should have the words to motivate people or employees and make them do what cannot be thought of so that better results can be achieved.
A good leader should always make the right decisions at the correct time with the help of others as their decisions have a profound impact on masses. He or should think hard and long before any decision is taken, looking into the plans of the future, and once a decision is taken, they should stand by it (Goffee, & Jones, 2015). Additionally, good decisions are made after consulting the key stakeholders of an organization as they are always the people who benefit or suffer from the made decisions.
As depicted by Grint et al. 2016, a good leader is supposed to take very little more than his blame share as well as little less than his or her credit share. Every subordinate should be accountable for what they do as the action will always create a sense of responsibility among them and they will take their work more seriously (Grint et al. 2016).
Empathy should be developed by leaders towards their followers to enhance the effectiveness of a work being done. Unfortunately, most people take advantage of their leadership positions and follow a dictatorial style while neglecting empathy in their reign that makes them fail to make closer connections with their followers. An effective leader should lead by an example, understand the followers' problems and feel their pain while doing a particular work as well as providing suitable solutions to most of their problems.
Traits of Servant Leadership
A servant leader should understand and recognize the emotions and feelings which team members often experience. Such a leader will always love and care for other people as well as having deeply experience emotions which coincide with what others feel. Moreover, since they can deeply understand other servants, their actions are often motivated by genuine desires of helping people.
By listening to the opinions of other people, servant leaders often understand the interpersonal situations that they deal with at their workplace. This active listening is used in counseling others, conflict resolutions and also to impart training.
Most leaders are always blissfully ignorant of their shortcomings but not a servant leader. They are still fully aware of their feelings, values, emotions, strengths, and weaknesses which allows them to understand the personal biases and put them aside when they are making decisions (Goetsch, & Davis, 2014).
A servant leader can imagine the future possibilities of something or action taken and reconcile it with the current realities which helps visualize a bright future and the necessary steps in reaching there.
A servant leader often acts as a steward for the resources of an organization as they assume full responsibility for managing and planning the available resources, for bettering and making the organization prosperous as well as the employees and stakeholders at large (Carter, & Baghurst, 2014; Goetsch, & Davis, 2014).
The future, present, and past are connected to success. Thus, servant leaders possess the intuitive ability to predict the future based on the present and the past that helps in planning (Parris, & Peachey, 2013).
Committed to Growth of Others
Servant leaders often take the responsibility of making other develop by helping the workers chart out a career path that is clear by providing them with the resources available in progressing from one level to the other (Moore, 2012).
It is always simple for a servant leader to influence the actions and opinions of others via persuasive skills. The quality is related with negotiations with stakeholders, customers and business partners, (Rachmawati, & Lantu, 2014), since they are committed to other people's welfare, they should use this ability and skill to influences others positively.
Most people always gather for a common purpose under a servant leader. The leader can create a feeling of ownership to something greater than every individual, foster the spirit of teamwork, and sense of community as they care deeply for most communities which they create (Stoten, 2013).
Bringing the Notion of Servant Leadership to a Police Organization
In the current world of law enforcement, officers are required to police a diverse, very complex, and changing society. The executives of law enforcement are very overwhelmed with the tasks of administrations that they have been separated from the individuals whom the lead, as well as the citizens, they serve. However, even though these current and advanced law enforcement workers are educated, trained better, and are experienced than ever before, numerous police executives often want to make decisions at any given time (Clarke, & Higgs, 2016).
A change in leadership which enhances and encourages decision-making, input, empowerment, and thinking is required from the officers who are out in the field. A move which allows these officers to become problem-solving and customer-oriented leaders (Raisiene, 2014). However, for this action to occur, the agency and the law enforcement executive must go through leadership and organizational transformation. In conducting the activity, police executives must alter the context in which their organization is led and ruled from the traditional leadership to one of the servant leadership.
First, the officer involved must identify the current challenge in law enforcement management. Among the issues of leadership is that the police work often operates in a paramilitary environment that is made up of a top-down hierarchy and structured chain of command. Most of the decisions made and power is vested at the top that causes an insufficient sense of ownership and a lack of personal responsibility that curbs delivery of the services of the police to the community members (Zehir et al. 2013). Moreover, in the past, this model of organization might have served the agencies of law enforcement, but in the current world, many negative situations are brought about by it. For instance, there is always narrow views of the organization and limited authority to the first line supervisors as they only focus on the specific unit they lead (Rothaermel, 2013). Thus, as a result, the supervisors at the top level are overburdened with a lot of work while other employees wait for orders. This approach depicts more complicated ways of placing blames and hiding problems.
Servant leadership can always be applied to the challenges and problems which are brought by the structured traditional environment (Roach, 2016). Moreover, the traditional hierarchy is reserved by allowing the police executives to support and serve the high-level management, which in turn supports and serves the middle management, which in turn supports and helps the women and men working in the trenches daily. Also, every level, as it aligns next to the top of the inverted pyramid, becomes larger in scale and scope, more seen, and highly responsible for direct contact with the people to be served while providing community services and fighting crime (Abioje, 2010).
Additionally, the leadership that is in law enforcement might agree that trusted employees are allowed to make choices as well as being responsible for the actions that will make them remain committed to their work and feel that they are great people who play significant roles in the organizations. Nevertheless, through creating an atmosphere of servant leadership in the agencies, the current world is encouraged to be independent, educated, and for the innovative officers to take responsibility and make best decisions, that in turn creates an ownership sense in an organization which enhances and results in greater commitments and higher performances. Thus, this methodology might be a way of keeping future officers engaged in what they do (Laniak, 2015).
Servant leadership also allows people to lead as they will choose higher ideals and serve one another. A servant leader forms an environment where other people see the value in their actions and service. Also, it emphasizes the necessity of letting the nature of the work become the reason and inspiration for doing it perfectly (Whittington, 2016). Thus, an approach that is team oriented to analysis as well as making decisions as a way of strengthening agencies is encouraged through servant leadership. Additionally, police executives should understand and see the need for developing these skills of leadership at each level of the organization.
They must work smart to develop the officers' minds and the leaders of the future by teaching them essential servant leadership like leading by example, being loyal and integral, understanding the values and missions of the office to mention but a few (He, & Brown, 2013). Therefore, to create a servant leadership environment, the qualities and skills of leadership must be instilled in the work, and when the objectives are accomplished, people will move closer to a well-led, well-managed, effective and efficient organization.
Benefits and Pitfalls of Servant Leadership
Barking orders at all the time at subordinates and dominating in every discussion can never be the best way to lead to the police department. Servant leadership can be an alternative to treating commanding positions as a way of serving others. The servant leadership approach needs requesting for feedbacks, respecting people who are under you and w...
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