Servant leadership is a management philosophy formulated by Robert K. Greenleaf in the 70s. The main idea is that the manager should serve the employees and the organisation, and differs from traditional leadership where the manager’s role is to promote the organisation’s interests.
A servant leader shares power, puts the needs of employees first and helps people develop and perform at their best. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. Greenleaf put it this way: A servant leader must ask himself the question: “Are my employees growing as people? As they serve, do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely to become servants themselves?”
Do we have a serving leadership at UiB and for that matter the hospital we are an integral part of? As a scientific employee, many others and I experience that tasks that others previously did for us, now have to be done by us. We spend more and more time on documentation, filling in forms, organizing teaching and other administrative tasks. It feels like there are various administrative groups around us who are more concerned with leading us instead of serving us. This means that we have less time to do the university’s core tasks, namely research, teaching and communication.
We need a debate about this. I did not have Fredrik Solvang available, so as an introduction I asked ChapGPT if we had serving leadership at UiB. It answered, among other things: “There is a growing interest in servant leadership in higher education institutions around the world. Many universities have introduced servant leadership principles into their management structures and have seen positive results.
UiB has also taken initiatives to promote servant leadership. For example, they have organized seminars and workshops on the subject and have also included this as one of their core values. Furthermore, in its vision for 2022, UiB emphasizes that it wants to promote responsible management, including servant leadership.
We now need to discuss how this vision can be implemented in practical terms?
With warm wishes for a good the coming weekend
Deputy leader K2