Servant Leadership: Practices
“Conduct: Behavioral Leadership--Study Abstracts” (SL#69)
by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., adapted from SkillTrack® 1:3 - Charting Your Course

The following two abstracts seek to provide leadership concepts and behavioral patterns that may enrich the practice of servant leadership. Relate them especially to SL#67 and SL#68.

Behavioral Leadership Studies
Summarized by Lloyd Elder
from Organizational Behavior (Kinicki & Kreitner)
The Leadership Experience (Daft) and other research sources

Earliest Behavioral Leadership Studies

1977 - Fiedler’s Contingency Model
One of the oldest and best known models in this research of leadership was developed by scholar F. E. Fiedler, simply summarized:

1970’s - 1980’s--Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

Yet another behavioral/situational leadership theory, similar to Hersey & Blanchard, contributes to leadership style choices as a servant leader. This theory, based on personal characteristics of the group members and the task structure work environment, presents four leadership styles to move along a path toward a goal: supportive, directive, participative, and achievement-oriented.

1985 - The Management/Leadership Grid developed by Blake and Mouton was based on these earlier studies and additional research.


Abstract: “Leadership into the Next Millennium”
from Chapter 6 (pp. 369-406) of The Leader's Handbook
by Peter R. Scholtes, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1998
Prepared by Lloyd Elder

This handbook is highly recommended for its leadership content value and its user-friendly format. From Scholtes, Chapter 6, I have excerpted and summarized his understanding of how leaders should behave in this 3rd millennium.

Wonderful Leaders (pp. 370-371)
He describes the behavior of “wonderful leaders” he has known: respectful of their people, knowledgeable about their business, dedicated to their customers, and communicated a clear sense of direction and focus. “Dismal leaders,” on the other hand, live up to their meaning of “bad day.” Wonderful leaders are known by:

What Is Leadership/Leaders of Systems? (pp. 372-375)
Scholtes, not so much defines as, describes leadership:

What Is Leadership?
There is no formula for leadership. Leadership consists of more than the approaches, capabilities, and attributes talked about in books such as this.

Leadership is the presence and spirit of the individual who leads and the relationship created with those who are led. Good leadership accommodates the needs and values of those who need to be led. Good leadership takes into account the skills and capabilities of those with whom the leader shares leadership. Good leadership adapts to the purpose and future needs of the organization. Leadership is an art, an inner journey, a network of relationships, a mastery of methods, and much, much more. And because we cannot expect any single heroic individual to possess all these traits, leadership, ultimately, must be a system.

Healing Workplaces (pp. 378-384)
According to Scholtes, what are the policies, practices, and environmental factors that make the workplace a healing and learning place? He describes eight:

The work of Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1968) is reported as a foundational study of the continuum of leadership behavior in management control:

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© 2006; hosted and copyrighted by Lloyd Elder & Associates, Inc.
For full citation of referenced works, see Bibliography/Links at
Adapted by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., Founding Director, Moench Center for Church Leadership