Servant leadership is a new concept that outlines how people should lead to benefit themselves and others in their proximity. Robert K. Greenleaf founded the philosophy of Servant leadership. This philosophy is a set of practices that help enrich people’s lives and establish better organizations. Servant leadership creates a world that is more caring and just. To be a Servant leader, one must aspire to lead, inspire and motivate others to success. A servant leader should identify and meet other people’s needs and serve their communities as a whole (Roberts, 2018). This type of leadership can be shown globally in any culture, religion, and worldview. It is quite universal and can be shown in different ways. The paper focuses on how Servant leadership is demonstrated in Hinduism and Indian culture. Additionally, it determines the differences and similarities between their philosophies and values in Servant leadership.
Hinduism is India’s primary and most popular religion, with more adherents than all other Asian religions. Hinduism is one of Asia’s oldest and most widely practiced religions and therefore viewed as a way of life. The characteristics that define it will impact one’s actions and thoughts. Dharma is a notion that relates to the nature of reality and establishes guidelines for behavior and social order (Roberts, 2018). Hinduism is not considered a single practice but an act of different religious gatherings in India. It includes a variety of religious practices, deities, and religious leaders. Over a billion people practice Hinduism, one of the largest religions following Christianity and Islam. Each individual’s faith depends on the person and will choose a form of devotion and spiritual leader that best fits their goals and the nature of their faith (Ganguly, n.d). The main difference when comparing Servant leadership philosophies to the values of the Hindu culture is their mode of thinking. The self, work, and liberation shape their philosophical thought, where Karma is a core concept. While Karma focuses on action and reaction, servant leadership focuses on following God’s command to serve. Servant leadership does not undertake good deeds to receive something in return. Servant leaders work with their followers to improve individual and corporate performance.
Similarities and Differences in Hinduism Beliefs
Within Hinduism, the charismatic leadership behavior of Krishna, a Hindu god, is demonstrated. Krishna’s leadership style suits both Servant leadership and transformational leadership models. There are significant parallels between Hinduism and the Servant leadership approach. Hindus believe in living their lives based on principles, ethics, and responsibilities (Roberts, 2018). They believe every individual’s life is valuable and their traits can impact the world. Karma is considered a causality in Hinduism where good deeds, words, thoughts, and commands result in detrimental effects on an individual. People practicing Hinduism will, as a result of this type of thinking, work hard to serve others out of the kindness of heart, just like a Servant leader. Hindus believe in working towards long-term goals and benefits in the future, and they pursue their aim of serving others through religion. Unlike other religions such as Christianity and Judaism, there lacks a particular God or specific God that is essential in Hinduism. Each Hindu selects a deity that one believes would greatly impact their life. They believe in many things that are diverse and unique. They believe in a higher being who is beyond their understanding.
Culture is defined as the characteristics and knowledge of a certain group of people, including their religion, social habits, language, and art. The Indian culture and their way of life are considered the oldest. In this culture, most of their values and philosophies are similar to the principles of Servant leadership. They display modesty, dignity, patience, and integrity, which mirrors Servant leadership.
Similarities and Differences in Indian Culture
Indian culture showed the aspects of servant leadership skills, such as being a good listener and observer. Countries in Southern Asia accept leaders who show charismatic and value-based leadership, such as Mahatma Gandhi (Kumar, 2018). He was the primary leader of India’s independence movement in 1947 and fought for their civil rights. Mahatma led peaceful boycotts against the British institutions until transformations were made, making great strides in establishing a common humanism in India. The integrity and brevity demonstrated by Gandhi reflected a person who was ready and willing to serve others (Gandolfi & Stone, 2018). He wanted the Indians to receive dignity and power and motivated others to develop social equality. Other extraordinary pioneers, such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore, played a significant role in shaping current India.
Servant leadership is a concept that is universally recognized and understood by people all around the globe. All cultures and religions should embrace Servant leadership to increase loyalty, diversity, and productivity. Servant leadership is demonstrated widely in the Indian culture and their Hinduism religion. Servant leadership is about serving their followers and creating a clear path that allows their follower to do their best at their undertakings. Empowering others to use their full potential is a great way to demonstrate Servant leadership.
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Gandolfi, F., & Stone, S. (2018). Leadership, leadership styles, and Servant leadership. Journal of Management Research, 18(4), 261-269.