I want to start my post off by saying sorry for the late submission. I have been plagued with the flu and have been so knocked out from my meds.
With that being said, I found myself binge-watching House of Cards. Kevin Spacey is a resilient president who does whatever it takes to push his agenda forward. The act of leading for the people is not one that he follows. After his death (the newest season) his wife Claire is now President. She has proven to be smarter and more devious than her deceased husband. Claire does, however, seem to be interested in doing some good. She notices that due to her gender she is perceived differently in the media and by her peers. She ends up emptying her entire cabinet and staffing it with powerful women. This led me to think… the position of president would be considered a servant leader. Our lesson commentary defines this as (Pennsylvania State University,2019 ) “the leader is there to serve the followers’ needs so that the work can get done.”
This leadership theory places the most emphasis on the performance of the leader. Leader effectiveness is gauged much like the presidency. The goal of this theory is to ultimately have the followers grow and think for themselves and act on their own behalf to toward the common goal. We actually see that effect in the show. Claire uses her pregnancy to garner sympathy when she is questioned about whether she is emotionally stable to have access to the nuclear launch codes. Claire then makes it a point to reveal things regarding an app that would invade peoples privacy. Both of these start a sort of wave among the American people. The news begins reporting that women issues and activist are either supporting Claire and “women’s rights” or are against it. In a way, Claire is fulfilling this theory. She is empowering the people to act independently about an issue. The issue being gender equality as well as privacy.
I found it interesting that (Northouse ,2016) definition of servant leadership included characteristics such as listening,empathy,healing,awareness, and persuasion.
I believe that Claire posses almost all of these characteristics which is why she is deemed a better leader than her husband. It’s interesting that simple things like showing empathy and spreading awareness can encourage followers to support you. We see in previous seasons of the show that Francis was not as loved because he posses a domineering personality.(Pennsylvania State University,2019) states “Servant leadership will backfire if a leader tries to engage this process while being a power-oriented or domineering personality. The application will seem like lip service rather than authentic by followers and as such, they will not grow and develop, but will rather become mistrustful of the leader and the organization.” This is a perfect depiction of what occurred during Francis’s presidency and almost during Claire’s. Thankfully she was able to spin the narrative and rely on her natural leadership skills to gain her followers trust all the while persuading them to do what she needed to be successful.
Pennsylvania State University. (2019) Psych 485. Servant Leadership: Introduction to Servant Leadership. https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/canvas/sp19/21911–17104/content/11_lesson
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice