Servant leadership, ethical leadership and moral intelligence have several common aspects. In servant leadership, the focus of the leader is on the well-being of his subordinates. A servant leader prioritizes the needs of his followers over his accumulation of power or profit. In the same manner, the principles of ethical leadership involve respect, justice and honesty which should be practiced within the community. In both servant leadership and ethical leadership, moral intelligence is necessary. The seven essential virtues of moral intelligence are needed to practice servant and ethical leadership. These virtues are empathy, conscience, self-control, respect, kindness, tolerance and fairness.
For an organization to accommodate these forms of leadership, the leadership style should emanate from the board of directors to the top management to the supervisors. Leadership by example is a must. Furthermore, to propagate this type of leadership style, each person in the organization must be ready to help each other to succeed in their jobs.
Servant and ethical leadership are suitable for most businesses today. Although there are a few organizations which are too profit-oriented, there are still some companies which allocate a portion of their profits for the benefit of their employees and the communities which they serve. Social responsibility and the concept of sustainability are part of some organization’s commitment. McDonald’s and Starbucks are examples of companies which are socially responsible. Companies today are also more open to employee empowerment. Management nurtures the need for individuals to grow and be fulfilled through training programs they offer.
If there is one thing that hinders servant and ethical leadership, it is the desire for profit. Financial considerations usually get in the way of management’s desire to focus on the well-being of their employees. Another factor that impedes servant and ethical leadership is the yearning for power. A leader who wants to obtain more power will think less of his subordinates. These types of leaders sometimes resort to unethical practices just to get to the top.
In organizations where servant leadership or ethical leadership are not suitable, the transformational leadership may be adapted. In this style, the leader becomes an inspiration to his subordinates and assists them to effect positive changes.
Borba, M. (2001). The step-by-step plan to building moral intelligence. Retrieved from micheleborba.com: http://www.micheleborba.com/Pages/7virtues.htm
Sites.psu.edu. (2013, April 23). How ethical leadership ties into servant and transformational leadership. Retrieved from sites.psu.edu: http://sites.psu.edu/leadership/2013/04/23/how-ethical-leadership-ties-into-servant-and-transformational-leadership/