Nehemiah the Israelite leader displays numerous traits of a Servant Leader in the biblical book, Nehemiah. Nehemiah sets out on a quest to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the wall that surrounds his beloved home. During this time, he encounters many obstacles and will overcome all roadblocks put in front of him. This paper will provide an analysis of two significant events, building the wall around Jerusalem and organizing Jerusalem’s people to rebuild the city.
The analysis will define two leadership models and provide specific examples for each model that will be presented; Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership and the behaviors to model, if one intends to be a Servant ...view middle of the document...
The second event, concurrent actions on all fronts Nehemiah speaks of a new vision for the city of Jerusalem, where the people could create the foundation for change if they commit to achieving the results. Nehemiah organizes work crews, sustains opposition from those who oppose the rebuilding, and reforms the court system. Furthermore, Nehemiah purifies the religious practices and aligns the religious teachings with God’s scriptures. Using concurrent actions as Nehemiah demonstrates, builds momentum, and shows the commitment of the people participating in the rebuilding process.
Nehemiah’s Servant Leadership Behavior
Analyzing Nehemiah’s Servant Leadership behavior, Nehemiah will raise other people’s needs as a higher priority over his own; this is evident by the dedication of Nehemiah’s work to rebuilding Jerusalem. Nehemiah demonstrates how to serve first, instead of caring for his own wellbeing, an example of this is; Nehemiah hears of the troubles the people of Jerusalem are having and is willing to take action to help.
The second event, Transformational Leadership, Nehemiah shows great charisma in elevating the people of Jerusalem to work together for the good of the city and their neighbors. Nehemiah is able to provide the vision of a new Jerusalem so others can look beyond their own self-interest, and realize the great possibilities if they come together in alliance.
An additional characteristic of Nehemiah is, Transcending Leadership, this is dynamic in the sense that leaders throw themselves into the relationship, and the follows feel elevated and often become more active in creating a cadre of leaders (Burns, 1978). Nehemiah is a perfect example of Transcending Leadership, by creating a new culture through his hands-on management style and working with the city leaders, inspires others to do great things and shows fearless optimism in forming the new culture.
Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership Models in Practice
The most profound trait of the Servant Leadership model is; while the people are being served, do they become healthier, wiser, freer, and more likely to become Servant Leaders themselves? (Greenleaf, 2002). The Servant Leadership model explains what Nehemiah should do for the people of Jerusalem, this model renews the cycle of Servant Leadership to be compounded exponentially for the greatest benefit.
Transformational Leadership parallels the principles of Servant Leadership, in the fact, that “leaders broaden and elevate the interest of those being served and generates awareness and acceptance of the group’s mission”. Transformational Leaders “stir individuals to look beyond their own self-interest….” (Bass, 1990). The aspect of generating awareness and acceptance, for rebuilding Jerusalem will help accomplish the city’s rebirth. Without the ability to stir the emotions of the people, to look beyond their own self-interest, accomplishing a task of this magnitude would not be possible.