Servant-Leadership and Parenting

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Many of the traits of a servant-leader can be used in parenting.

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Parenting: The Ultimate in Servant-Leadership:

Andrew Smith Gonzaga University COML 530 Parenting: The Ultimate in Servant-Leadership

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“A servant-leader is a servant first.” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 27) …So is a parent.

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“The most important work we will ever do will be within the walls of our own home.” Harold B. Lee

Traits of a servant-leader include::

Traits of a servant-leader include: Stewardship Listening Empathy Awareness Healing Commitment to people Community building Conceptualization (Spears & Lawrence, 2002, pp. 5-7) Robert Greenleaf

Traits of a Parent include::

Traits of a Parent include: Stewardship Listening Empathy Awareness Healing Commitment to people Community building Conceptualization (Spears & Lawrence, 2002, pp. 5-7)

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The goal of a parent is more than just to raise a child. It is to raise an adult who gives back to society.

Parents must use Servant-Leadership principles to raise the next generation.:

Parents must use Servant-Leadership principles to raise the next generation.

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Stewardship: “Holding something in trust for another.”-Peter Block (Spears & Lawrence, 2002, pp. 240)

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The Stewardship of a parent is to “hold a child in trust” until the child can think and act for him or herself.

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What are we, as parents, doing with the trust we have been given for the children in our care?

Listening::

Listening: Listening is where understanding begins ( Horsman , 2011)

Active listening leads to understanding:

As a parent, we must seek to understand. We do this by listening with our entire being. Our ears Our eyes Our nose Our body Active listening leads to understanding ( Horsman , 2012)

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“Only a true natural servant automatically responds to any problem by listening first. ” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 31)

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Empathy: “A servant always accepts and empathizes. Never rejects.” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 33)

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“People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirits.” (Spears & Lawrence, 2002, pp. 5)

Awareness::

Awareness: “When one is aware, there is more than the usual alertness, more intense contact with the immediate situation.” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 41)

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As leaders and parents, we must be aware of our children, their needs, their wants, their hearts.

Healing::

Healing: “To make whole.” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 50) Our responsibility as a parent is to help create a “whole” person, to give our children the opportunity to become “whole”, spiritually, socially, physically.

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As we serve our children and help them become whole, we heal ourselves.

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“There is something subtle communicated … if, implicit in the compact between servant-leader and led, is the understanding that the search for wholeness is something they share ” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 50)

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Parents heal by mending those spiritual and emotional fissures that occur in every day life, by giving acceptance to their children, and to themselves. We share in the healing process with our children.

Commitment to people::

Commitment to people: “Servant-leaders believe that people have intrinsic value.” (Spears, 2002, pp.7)

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Parents must see the value of those in their care, and be committed to their development. It is by understanding the worth of souls that we realize the importance of the task.

CommunityBuilding:

By achieving “many small-scale communities”, we can grow the community as a whole. (Greenleaf, 1998, pp. 22) CommunityBuilding

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The smallest base unit of a community is family. As parents and leaders of families, we have the opportunity and responsibility to grow the community around us by creating a place of shelter and growth for our children.

Conceptualization and Foresight:

Conceptualization and Foresight “Not much happens without a dream. And for something great to happen, there must be a great dream.” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 30)

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As parents and leaders, we must allow our children to dream big dreams, and encourage them to achieve them.

The Goal of Servant-Leadership and Parenting is the same…:

“Do they (children and those served)… become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 27) If we can answer yes, we are on the right track as parents and leaders. The Goal of Servant-Leadership and Parenting is the same…

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As with servant-leadership, we are always parents- in-training , but by following the same principles, we can achieve success in both.

References:

Greenleaf, R. K. (1998). The power of servant leadership . San Francisco: Berrett -Koehler. Greenleaf, R. K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness . New York: Paulist Press. Horsman , J.H. (2011). Journeying on the Path of Leadership. Retrieved from: https://learn.gonzaga.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1031990-dt-content-rid-3805518_1/courses/ORGL530_A2_23219_SP13/M4%20Some%20Principles%20of%20Transformation%20%26%20Developing%20Leaders%202011_FA11B.pdf Horsman , J. H. (2012). Journeying on the Path of Leadership. Retrieved from: https://learn.gonzaga.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1031983-dt-content-rid-3805556_1/courses/ORGL530_A2_23219_SP13/M3%20Listening_%26_Moral%20Intel ligence_for_Servant-leaders%202012%281%29.pdf Spears, L. C. & Lawrence, M. (2002). Focus on leadership: Servant-leadership for the twenty-first century . New York: John Wiley & Sons. References

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