Do you wake up every day with a calling to lead people you can’t physically see or touch?
Do you regularly engage in team or project work with people from other cultures?
Do you long for the hype of “leader as omnipotent hero” to give way to a more authentic model of “leader as servant?”
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be interested in scanning through “Servant Leadership Across Distance and Cultures: A New Paradigm for 21st Century Global Leaders.” Catchy title, I know. Such is the nature of academic work. You can also find my thesis on the Downloads tab on my blog. I’d love your feedback.
Here’s the Abstract …
This project addresses the lack of a distance leadership paradigm to adequately prepare servant leaders who are capable of leading well across distance and cultures within Campus Crusade for Christ’s (CCC) global level of leadership.
Research explored three aspects of leadership: servant leadership, distance leadership, and cross-cultural leadership. First, servant leadership builds on and surpasses other leadership models for global work because it seeks first to serve and develop others into mature, autonomous leaders who will, in turn, serve others. Robert Greenleaf’s test for increasing personal autonomy in servant leadership is essential in distance leadership because close supervision is impossible and counterproductive to organizational effectiveness. Second, effective distance leaders learn to overcome relational distance by using advanced communications technology to build and sustain trusting relationships with followers, partners, and other leaders. Third, effective global leaders grow in self-awareness of their own cultural bias and learn how to manage cultural diversity by studying, respecting, and dialoguing about cultural differences.
Field interviews and group discussions with more than 80 of CCC’s global leaders highlighted personal humility and building trusting relationships as two keys to effectively leading across distance and cultures. Helps and hindrances were identified in three categories: communication-rich relationships, integrity and trustworthiness in personal character, and leadership competence in using advanced communications technology. Findings strongly supported biblical servant leadership examples of Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul, Kathleen Patterson’s servant leadership virtuous construct, and the GLOBE study of 62 societies’ culturally endorsed leadership theory (CLT).
The researcher presents a new paradigm for 21st century global leaders.
I welcome your feedback at [email protected].