International Servant Leader (Mahatma Gandhi)
In the contemporary world, the application of servant leadership by individuals and organizations may be similar or vary significantly depending on the cultural and religious backgrounds. That is for sure because the Western culture and Christianity execution of servant leadership may have similarities or differences with other cultures and religious affiliations respectively. In essence, this discussion focuses on establishing the similarities and differences of the Western culture and Christianity implementation of servant leadership in comparison with other cultures and religious affiliations. Central to the analysis is the comparison of an international leader’s execution of servant leadership with the Western culture and Christianity application of the same concept. Primarily, the global servant leader of interest in this discussion is Mahatma Gandhi, who demonstrates servant leadership through the humanitarian work he accomplished in his lifetime.
Despite the differences in cultural and religious backgrounds between the Western Culture and Mahatma Gandhi’s Indian culture, similarities in servant leadership execution are apparent. A case in point of such similarity of servant leadership application is the humanistic aspect that both Western Culture and Christian servant leaders, as well as Mahatma Gandhi, demonstrate in their execution of servant leadership. That is for sure because Mahatma Gandhi invested in his followers’ needs as well as supporting, encouraging and inspiring them. In essence, all these aspects demonstrate servant leadership championed by the contemporary Western culture and Christian servant leaders (Munshi, 2010). As such, based on this illustration, it is beyond doubt that Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership style is similar to the Western culture and Christian servant leadership.
Mahatma Gandhi’s servant leadership also differs from the one employed in the Western culture and Christianity in ways that are worth noting. For instance, the renowned Western servant leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. levels of charisma are noticeable through the commanding presence associated with masculinized images. On the contrary, non-Western servant leaders such as Gandhi demonstrate their charisma by the adoption of humanistic and altruistic characteristics of modesty, compassion, and benevolence. For example, Gandhi adopted peaceful campaigns in his pursuit of fighting for human rights for the oppressed as well as conflict resolution (Carroll, 2013). With such a depiction, it is beyond doubt that Gandhi’s leadership differ from Western culture’s servant leadership.
Universal Servant Leadership Principles
Based on Gandhi’s and Western culture’s servant leadership portrayal, it is beyond doubt that certain servant leadership principles are universal regardless of the cultural differences. Befitting examples of such principles include integrity, listening, and commitment to the growth of people. Such is the case given that Gandhi stood for the truth, listened to the oppressed and purposed to fight for their rights (Barnabas, & Clifford, 2012). Notwithstanding, contemporary servant leaders are devoting their efforts to institutionalize the same. Clearly, these instances point to the universalism of these principles of servant leadership.
Concisely, this paper aimed at determining the similarities and differences of the Western culture and Christianity execution of servant leadership in comparison with other cultures and religious affiliations. Indeed, from the discussion, it is apparent that the execution of servant leadership in the international circle varies significantly from the Western culture and Christianity despite their similarities in some aspects. As such, going forward, servant leaders travelling overseas must bear this in mind if they are to succeed in their quest of institutionalizing this type of leadership. However, in the absence of such consideration, failure of implementation of servant leadership is inevitable.
Barnabas, A., & Clifford, P. S. (2012). Mahatma Gandhi–an Indian model of servant leadership. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 7(2), 132-150.
Carroll, B. C. (2013). Servant leadership theory cross-culturally: A comparative study between India and the United States. Regent University.
Munshi, S. (2010).Learning Leadership: Lessons from Mahatma Gandhi. Asian Journal of Social Science, 38(1), 37-45.