[Letters] Great leadership comes from serving, not simply managing

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[Letters] Great leadership comes from serving, not simply managing

A leadership style that involves self-sacrifice and lowering a boss’ status to that of his subordinates is referred to as “servant leadership” in business management terminology.

This type of leadership, involving a commitment to the establishment of a trust relationship with others in a business, was proposed by Robert K. Greenleaf, a business management scholar in the 1970s.

He got the idea of servant leadership from Leo, a character that undertook all sorts of chores and yet had to stop the journey after all in “Journey to the East” a work of Hermann Hesse.

Servant leadership is the type of leadership based on teamwork and community beyond the traditional dictatorial hierarchical leadership.

It is leadership that strives to listen to other people’s opinion and reflect that in decision-making.

It is leadership firmly based on ethnic considerate behavior, and leadership that makes efforts to uplift the personal growth of labors while improving considerateness and the quality of various organizations, which after all is supposed to provide mutual survival in broader sense.

Though servant leadership is a concept derived from Western business management that puts emphasis on efficiency, this concept is familiar to Eastern businesses in that it is in line with the same context as Eastern spirit to live in harmony.

In such an aspect, if more interest and education are given to serving and service leadership, our society will more flexibly adapt to the rapidly changing leadership paradigm.

Many world renowned companies like 3M, Intel and HP include servant leadership workshops in education training programs already.

On the other hand, domestic companies do not have sufficient interest in servant leadership yet, and the interest level needs be further extend.

In addition, the society has an impending need for education that can inspire values of service and self sacrifice to student and infuse the important of trust relationship with others.

We all are leaders and followers in various aspects of life.

If each and every individual gives rise to effects of serving and trust to the society by becoming servants with true motivation, leadership of a new dimension undeniably will lead our society in spite of ourselves.

The author intends to close this article by introducing the remark of Dr. Warren Venice, a world master of business administration study.

“While too many organizations are overly biased to management, they are excessively negligent in leading. That is because top dogs are skilled more in creating policies, common practices and procedure rather than work that produces persuasive and leading vision. Those are not leaders but managers.”


Pae Ki-pyo,

certified public accountant, Delaware, United States
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