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Servant Leadership

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Serving in the United States Navy is a very challenging and rewarding career. Young people are taught very early, the essentials of management and leadership. Many times, sailors are put in a position to lead early in their careers. The mission is the most important responsibilities of a leader in the military. Maintaining the welfare of the sailors is secondary. Seeking out responsibility and taking responsibility for your actions are the essentials of military leadership and are the factors that will drive a sailors career to new positions of authority. Serving in the military for over 20 years, I have held various positions of leadership. Throughout that time, I have had opportunity to improve my skills as a leader, as well as evaluate the type of leader that I am. Due to the ever-changing political climate, different leadership styles demand new types of leadership roles. There is not a one-size-fits-all type of leader in the military. All missions are unique, and personnel are always changing positions in the Navy overall. Therefore, leaders in the military must “adapt and overcome”. Chances are the command may not be successful at the mission at hand if they cannot adapt and overcome. While I was in the Navy, and now in civilian life, I have witnessed many different examples of leadership, good and bad. The style that I especially admire, which I also see in myself, is the servant leadership style. This style is not always applicable in the military, and often not favored, its role can be beneficial to the maintaining the welfare of the Sailors if not used to drive the mission.
There have been many writings about the effectiveness and qualities of servant leadership. Robert Greenleaf’s essay “The Servant as Leader”, Greenleaf states, “servant leaders possess greater self-awareness, elevated levels of empathy, exercise more responsible...

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