On Servant and Adaptive Leadership

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It is known that there are different ways to categorize leadership. Two of those categories are Servant leadership and Adaptive leadership. We are going to explore both concepts and what has been said about them by experts.

First, we must define the concepts. Servant leadership is, as defined on the website greenleaf.org (Center for Servant Leadership), a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.” It seems that the definition embodies every good thing that can happen.

On the same website, we can find word from Robert K. Greenleaf on his book The Servant as Leader: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.”

Considering that, we must analyze the language. When the author mentions a natural feeling, it may seems that he is highlighting a characteristic of all humans: “a natural feeling that one wants to serve”. In this context I ask myself… Is that true? Every human being born and not born would want to serve? I do not have an answer to that question therefore, I believe that servant leadership is just one more option out there that can accommodate to your needs or not.

On the other hand, we have Adaptive Leadership. According to the web site www.cambridge-leadership.com, Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. It is being able, both individually and collectively, to take on the gradual but meaningful process of adaptation. It is about diagnosing the essential from the expendable and bringing about a real challenge to the status quo.

The previous definition is based on the premise that adaptability is always good, and that the diagnosis of a situation is the most important thing when trying to solve issues and discarding what will be useful and what will not be. In this case, what I think about is… Is it always possible to adapt to every situation? Resignation should never be considered as an option? As the premise is change and adaptation, it is assumed that there is always an answer. I believe that sometimes there can be solutions, but not all the time we can find answers. Answers can depend on historical processes and we can only know them after facts history provides and then we analyze and learn from that.

Fernando Aguilar @fjaguilarr

One Comment on “On Servant and Adaptive Leadership”

  1. I liked the “no answer”; “To be or not be?” Your philosophical style to analyze processes. I agree that even in a adaptive leadership we are not ready to change and accommodate our needs in all situations.

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