Nearly every day, radiology managers are faced with difficult decisions. However, by
practicing the fundamental servant leadership principle of persuasion instead
of positional authority, a more positive outcome will result.
possessive about their leadership positions
since they view it as an act of stewardship
rather than ownership. 5 The ultimate goal of
a servant leader is to meet the highest priority needs of those served.
Principles of Servant Leadership
Ten principles of servant leadership have
been identified. These principles can be
applied in a radiology department to
enhance the delivery of high quality healthcare and improve employee satisfaction.
These principles embody behaviors that
can be learned and continually developed
and/or naturally exist in some people. 6
Included on the list of servant leadership
principles are: listening, empathy, healing,
awareness, persuasion, conceptualization,
foresight, stewardship, commitment to the
growth of people, and community building. See Box 1 for a questionnaire on these
servant leadership qualities.
The ability to effectively communicate has
frequently been identified as an important
characteristic of exemplary leadership. 6
A key aspect of communication requires
attentively listening to what others say. It is
vital that servant leaders listen intently and
in a receptive manner. Servant leaders
must listen to empower their employees,
rather than dominating the conversation
and telling them what to do. The servant
leader needs to observe non-verbal cues, as
The radiology manager needs to create an
environment where all ideas are listened to.
Effective listening can generate opportunities
for their employees to contribute to organizational goals. By transferring effective listening into meaningful actions, the delivery of
healthcare services can be improved and a
better radiology department can prevail.
A servant leader strives to understand the
positions and circumstances of others,
makes a concerted effort to consider others’ viewpoints, and helps followers realize
their dreams and potential. 6 A servant
leader assumes good intentions of their
employees and recognizes and accepts
them for their abilities and contributions.
Sometimes, undesirable behavior can
result. Unacceptable behavior should not
be condoned. However, it is the behavior
that is punished, not the individual.
Servant leaders are ones who understand what it is like to “walk in others’
shoes.” A radiology manager should
understand and empathize in others’ circumstances and problems. Radiology
managers who are empathetic earn confidence from others by understanding
whatever problem is being faced.
Servant leaders are people who want others to approach them when something
traumatic has happened in their lives.
They have created an environment where
they have a remarkable appreciation for
the emotional health and spirit of others. 7
Leaders who are empathetic have gained
confidence from others by understanding
whatever situation is being faced.
Many radiology managers have
employees who are facing incredible emotional battles that could hinder job performance. Radiology managers need to
understand these situations and help their
employees with healing these wounds so
job performance will not be affected.
Having a keen awareness of the happenings
within a servant leader’s department(s)
helps them address the concerns of their
employees. Servant leaders are always looking
for cues from their environments to form
opinions and decisions. 7 They are aware of
the happenings of their departments and
will rarely be fooled by some circumstances.
The use of persuasion rather than positional authority is a hallmark of servant
leadership. 6 Servant leaders are masterful at
building consensus by capitalizing on the
collective expertise of the group. Servant
leaders are more interested in finding the
best way, instead of having it their way. Servant leaders do not say, “Get going!” Rather,
they say, “Let’s go!” and then lead the way. 6
Shared decision making is the norm in
a servant-led organization. 6 Servant leaders seek to convince others to do things
rather than relying on formal authority.
This can be thought of as assuming the
role of informed persuader: providing
others with insight and strategies to successfully address concerns. Nearly every
day, radiology managers are faced with
difficult decisions. However, by practicing
the fundamental servant leadership principle of persuasion instead of positional
authority, a more positive outcome will
Servant leaders encourage a climate that
values creative processes. 6 Employees have
the freedom to communicate their ideas
and visions of their departments to their
leaders. Servant leaders encourage their
employees to challenge the status quo to
find a more efficient and effective way to
operate a process. By practicing servant