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BE A SERVANT AND BE THE LEADER Servant leadership profiles among the leaders

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BE A SERVANT AND BE THE LEADER Servant leadership profiles among the leaders
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  BE A SERVANT AND BE THE LEADER    Servant leadership profiles among the leaders *Dr. V. Tulasi Das Asst. Professor, Dept. of HRM, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, A.P. tulasi4ever@yahoo.co.in  ** S. Anand Reddy Asst. Professor, Siva Sivani Institute of Management anandreddy@ssim.ac.in   Abstract The crisis of leadership in all walks of life today is more obvious than ever before.  Despite, various claims on leadership models, there seems to be a wide gap existing between theory and practice of leadership. One such gap in theory, to be emphasized more today, is that “leaders need to serve their followers”.  Greenleaf wrote in Essentials, "The servant-leader is  servant first... Becoming a servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve  first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first... The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. This study intends to explore the concept of servant leadership as a style of desired leadership for the Gen Y. Taking employees from different companies, who have experience from 1-5 years, the survey was done to find out whether their leaders had possessed any servant leadership qualities, and how the  gender and sector has influence on the dimensions of servant leadership qualities. Introduction Generation Y is causing quite a stir in the work environment, though, it is the most recent cohort to enter the workforce. This is because, the Gen Y workforce is far larger than the generation before it, and has very different expectations and preferences when it comes to employment and how they want to be managed. The concept of we two take one, that is the single child concept, is the times in which Gen Y was raised: economic expansion and prosperity, is the period which it has come off to age. The era of economic uncertainty and violence, made the Gen Y to be the most affluent generation of all. Gen Y is most technically literate, educated and ethnically diverse generation in history and tends to have more discretionary income. It is socialized in digital world. It is continually wired, plugged and connected to digitally streaming information, entertainment, and contacts. In the words of Patricia Milligan, President (H.C), Mercer Inc., at Nasscom's HR  Summit-2011, the Gen Y are incredibly resourceful, intellectually very curious, hard working and have a deep commitment to community. Thus the Gen Y has become the independent in itself and become the self leaders and the masters. The changing generation expectations and the kind of leaders that are available in today’s business are quite different; therefore there is a mismatch between what is and what is expected. Hence cultivating the leadership for the next generation has become a tough task. To cater to the needs of the changing generations, one must first understand what the expectations of them are. Today the changing generation is expecting not of the traditional style of leadership but something new and unique, a style which understands them, a style which empathizes with them, a style which empowers them, a style which inspires them. i.e servant leadership. What is servant leadership? Servant leadership is one of the most talked about yet least critically examined leadership  philosophies. While many people closely identify with this leadership approach, an equal number are cynical and question whether expectations of leaders are realistic. The concept of servant leader is an age old concept and can be traced to 375 B.C. Chanakya’s Arthashastra "the king [leader] shall consider as good, not what pleases himself but what pleases his subjects [followers]", "the king [leader] is a paid servant and enjoys the resources of the state together with the people". And approximately in 600 B.C., the Chinese sage Lao Tzu wrote “ The Tao Te Ching ” , a strategic treatise on servant leadership “The greatest leader forgets oneself and attends to the development of others”. Good leaders support excellent workers. Great leaders support the  bottom ten percent. Great leaders know that the diamond in the rough is always found “in th e rough.” (Quote from The Way of Leading People Unlocking Your Integral Leadership with the Tao Te Ching.). And in the First Century A.D., Jesus of Nazareth said “But the greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23 : 11); “The one who is the greate st among you must  become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant”. (Luke 22:26). The modern servant leadership movement began in the 1970s when Robert K. Greenleaf published his essay, ―The Servant as Leader, later expanded in to a book, which is perhaps one of the most influential management texts yet written, in which he coined the phrases ―servant leader and ―servant leadership. Of his philosophy, Greenleaf wrote in  Essentials , "The servant-leader is servant first... Becoming a servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from  one who is leader first... The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and the most difficult to administer, is this: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served,  become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?" (Greenleaf, 2003). Though his terms are secular ones, his definition of leadership is the clearest statement of this idea that the needs of followers are holy and that legitimate use of power arises from the consent of followers. The Present Study Though there are plethora of leadership styles in Contemporary organizations, all are  plagued by systemic problems such as bullying leadership (Einarsen, 1999), abuse of power Jaworski, J. (1997), unethical practices (Currall and Epstein, 2003), toxic emotions (Frost, 2003), social isolation and alienation in the workplace (Sarros et al., 2002), and the violation of employees’ psychological well -being and work-life balance (De Cieri et al., 2005; Thornthwaite, 2004; Wright and Cropanzano, 2004). Now there is a thirst for the right kind of leadership style for today’s generation. One such a leadership style  is known as servant leadership. It is quite sparse in discussion among the academicians and also quite sparse in implementation in the organizations. To this end the study tries to understand, how many leaders have these servant leadership qualities, and how they are perceived by their followers. Objectives  1.   To know the servant leadership qualities observed by the Gen Y in the leaders 2.   To find the influence of gender and sector on each dimension of servant leadership Methodology To achieve the desired objectives, this study is carried out in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The data for the survey was collected from employees from different sectors, namely: Information Technology, Service, Manufacturing and Construction. The questionnaire was mailed to Around 200 working professionals across these sectors, who have 1-5 years of work experience. We have received 151 responses back. Out of the total 151 sample 93 are males and 58 are females. Out of the total sample, 56 are from the IT sector, 42 from the Service sector, 31 from the Manufacturing sector, and 22 from the Construction sector. The questionnaire  consisted of an 18-items servant leadership scale. Each item is measured 5-point Likert scale (where 5= strongly agree to 1= strongly disagree). Factor analysis was carried out to identify the different dimensions, which measure the servant leadership qualities. The factor analysis extracted 4 dimensions namely: values people, develops people, building community and displays authenticity. The rotated component matrix is given below. Rotated Component Matrix a  Component 1 2 3 4 the leader believes in people in the team .875 the leader values the differences of the followers .823 The leader clarifies the doubts regarding the goals of the followers .774 the leader shares status and promote the followers .762 the leader puts serving the needs of the people before his/her needs .867 the leader provides opportunities for learning and growth .821 the Leader models the behavior of the followers with encouragement and affirmation .786 the leader envisions the future of the followers .763 the leader takes initiative in shaping the future of the followers .757 the leader builds strong personal relationships with the employees .845 the leader works collaboratively with the followers .823  the leader maintains integrity and trust with all .798 the leader facilitates the shared vision among the followers .782 the leader shares power and releases control .756 the leader is non judgmental in listening .856 the Leader models the behavior of the followers with appropriate behavior .834 the leader is open and accountable to the work .821 the leader is willing to learn from others .765 Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a. Rotation converged in 5 iterations. Then composite score for each dimension was calculated. We then used percentiles, 30 th , 60 th  and 90 th  of each dimension as threshold to measure the level of values people, develops people,  building community and displays authenticity. Dimension 1:  in dimension one 36.4% leaders have scored low in values people, 25.2% leaders have scored medium in values people, and 38.4% leaders have secured high on values people. Dimension 2:  in dimension 2, 42.4% leaders have scored low in develops people, 27.8% have scored average in develops people, and 29.8% have scored high in develops people. Dimension 3:  in dimension, 39.7% leaders have scored low in building community, 29.8% have score average in building community and 30.5% scored high in building community. Dimension 4:  in dimension 4 out 33.8% leaders have scored low in displays authenticity, 27.8% have scored average in develops people and 38.4% have scored high on this dimension.
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