The Problems with the Servant Leader Perspective

The images below represent a definition of "Servant Leadership" that is diametrically opposed to the Vertical Development approach to Leadership because the over-reliance and emphasis on emotion is evidence of a millennial influence that assumes emotions are useful.

That is to say: emotions are assumed to be important. However, they are not as important as people assume. What IS important is one's capacity and capability to choose if they use or ignore an emotional context. The position of the Leader to be capable of choosing their construction of self far outweighs the limited view in the first image below.

Further to this, there are a lot of assumptions made by the researchers in the first image that demonstrate they have never heard of adult development, and as such, simply get things wrong. An example of how ill-conceived their position is can be seen in the paragraph below, taken from Stevens' 2020 thesis on Constructed Development Theory. In his research, he demonstrated that individuals are simply not as self-aware as they think they are, and this is represented in the grids below the first graphic that explains how Stevens thinks about "Servant Leader" as a framework.

Nelson, Kruglanski & Jost (1998) and Huntsinger & Clore (2012) demonstrate in their review of metacognition that the various sources of information made available when one tries to assess their self-knowledge and knowledge of others only really provides the ‘raw materials’ which then require interpretation in light of other implicit theories. This strongly contradicts the notion that we are in control of our thinking and behaving. It also emphasises that what we think we know is a result of a complex construction process (Lories, Dardenne & Yzerbyt, 1998).

This is the original graphic seen on LinkedIn The bullets transposed to text for ease of reading These are the problem areas from a CDT perspective First grid Second grid This is the Development Grid by Stevens in CDT An example of leader understanding A simpler develompental graphic
If you want to learn how Leadership is dependent more upon an individual's capacity construct their thinking in the moment from a position of Intention, Awareness, Choice and ResponseTM, then get in touch today and help us to remove bad ideas masquerading as organisational psychology.
All references for this piece of writing can be found in the original thesis by Stevens (2020).

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