management by matrices

a fresh perspective on management.

Servant Leadership - another fad

The concept of Servant-Leadership was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf (1904-1990) in his essay The Servant as Leader.

Servant leadership is a form of leadership in which the leader desires to 'serve' first, and then assumes a leadership role by conscious choice. Greenleaf recommends that the simple mantra is to just 'serve' others in whatever situation you are faced with. Followers, while being served, become 'healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants themselves'.

The concept seems to boil down to "selfless service", not unlike what Indian philosophical texts have been recommending for thousands of years now! To me the whole concept of 'Servant leadership' seems more like a management fad than anything else. It seems to be a fresh articulation of leadership tenets that have existed for long. In fact most business books fall under this cateogory, possibly because modern managers don't read enough, and need to be spoon fed with easy to remember concepts in the form of 'The One Minute Manager', 'Principle Centred Leadership' and other such 'for dummies' books.