Servant Leadership In Islam

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Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy that emphasizes the well-being of the worker. Formally introduced by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, characteristics of servant leadership can be found in several religions and cultures around the world. This paper will examine evidence of servant leadership in the religion of Islam and within the culture on the African continent.
Servant Leadership in the Religion of Islam
Servant leadership is a management philosophy that emphasizes the well-being of the worker. The servant leader puts the employee first. The leader is self-sacrificing and exhibits the characteristics of listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of
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The essence of these five pillars is that “…all creatures are created equal and that humanity must therefore strive for balance and harmony” (Kriger & Seng, 2005, p. 777). This is similar to servant leadership whose practitioners are self-sacrificing, do not put themselves first and always try to encourage community growth. The servant leadership philosophy sets aside traditional models of hierarchy in favor of a model of teamwork, collaboration, the involvement of others in the decision-making, and the ethical treatment the followers. In a similar way Muslim leaders must make decisions that benefit the broader community. According to Islam, leaders, as servant–caretakers, are part of the reciprocal relationship between the leader and the led” (Kriger & Seng, 2005, p. 778). The idea of justice for the common man is so important that “ its importance is not less than that of monotheism or One God and His worship” (Kriger & Seng, 2005, p. 778). This type of servant leadership thinking is engrained in the Islamic faith because it is essentially a command of the …show more content…
The continent of Africa has been torn apart by warlords and greedy politicians pursuing power and money. This has made it very difficult to establish any reliable form of servant leadership. “Corruption is now recognized as one of the South African governments greatest challenges in the public sector” (Manala, 2014, p. 250). However, despite the current political landscape there is opportunity for servant leadership to take hold. Ghana and Kenya are countries that have adopted and understood some level of servant leadership more than other regions. Irving, quoting a 2005 Kosha study noted that in Kenya the “…construct of service was seen as both acceptable and applicable among Kenyan leaders and managers across the various organizational settings included in the study – government, business corporations, NGOs, and academic institutions” (Irving, 2010, p.

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