Greenleaf (1977, manager):
- great leaders serve the group they lead, by creating and maintaining an environment which encourages and supports everyone in maximizing their potential, especially vis-à-vis group goals.
- see Spears on Greenleaf (coursepack) for the ten characteristics of a servant leader.
Greenleaf, himself a retired executive with decades of experience in management, espoused his own distillation of the essence of leadership at about the same time Burns was writing Leadership. He too focussed on the dynamics of the relationships among leaders and their various followers; he too asserted that leaders enhance followers’ ability to reach their full potential as human beings. His model assumes that, in fact, in order to achieve anything, much less excellence, leaders must support the ideas and actions of their followers rather than dictate strategies to them in command-and-control mode. Greenleaf named this model “servant leadership” after having read Herman Hesse’s story, “Journey to the East,” whose primary character epitomizes the style.
You have a good summary of Greenleaf’s core concepts in the essay by Larry Spears on Robert Greenleaf; you also have a handout on servant leadership showing some of the related ideas across the leadership models of Greenleaf, Senge, and Jaworski.