How to become a servant leaderLead by example, Show people why their work is important, Encourage collaboration and employee engagement, Help your team grow and develop, Take care of your team members personally, Ask for feedback. You are a servant leader when you focus on the needs of others before considering your own. It is a long-term leadership approach, rather than a technique you can adopt in specific situations. Therefore, you can use it with other leadership styles, such as transformational leadership.
Servant leaders are a revolutionary group that takes the traditional power leadership model and turns it completely upside down. This new hierarchy places the people or employees, in a business context, at the top and the leader at the bottom, in charge of serving the employees above them. And that is how servant leaders like it. Servant leadership is a style based on a desire to serve and give back to their community.
By putting the needs of others first, you empower people to do their best. When community members see your passion and commitment through your actions, they want to be connected to you. Servant leadership goes against the belief that leadership is defined as hierarchical, patriarchal and related to wealth or status. Instead, as the name suggests, it focuses on serving others to help them grow, often without the title or recognition that comes with many leadership roles.
Robert Greenleaf, the originator of servant-leadership theory, chose the name because it is contradictory and the polar opposite of typical leadership theories. A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of individuals and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership often involves the accumulation and exercise of power by the 'top of the pyramid', servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform at their best.
Servant leadership occurs when the leader's primary purpose and responsibility is to serve his or her people. A servant leader focuses on the people directly below him or her, rather than on the company as a whole. In servant leadership, the leader ensures that followers grow in all areas: their profession, their knowledge, their autonomy and even their health and physical development. Since its inception, higher education and research leaders have analysed why servant leadership is so successful.
A wide range of different scales have been created to measure the extent of servant leadership and ethics in various organisations. Servant leaders are called upon to seek a delicate balance between conceptual thinking and day-to-day operational focus. The philosophy and practices of servant leadership have been expressed in many ways and applied in many contexts. Becoming a servant leader means putting the needs of others before one's own and continually developing the 10 characteristics listed above.
The servant leader recognises the enormous responsibility to do everything in his or her power to foster the personal and professional growth of employees and colleagues. The servant leader perceives that much has been lost in recent human history as a result of the shift from local communities to large institutions as the primary shapers of human lives. After some years of careful study of Greenleaf's original writings, I have identified a set of ten characteristics of the servant leader that I believe are of fundamental importance to the development of servant leaders. My own work today is to deepen my understanding of the following characteristics and how they contribute to the meaningful practice of servant leadership.
Leo was seen as a servant at all times, but without him, the team felt lost and realised that he was their true leader who helped everyone and brought out the best in everyone. Three decades later, the concept of servant leadership is increasingly seen as an ideal form of leadership to which countless individuals and organisations aspire. One of the great strengths of servant leadership is the potential for healing oneself and one's relationship with others. As more and more organisations and individuals have sought to put servant leadership into practice, the work of the Spears Center for Servant-Leadership continues to expand to help meet that need.
Employees should feel comfortable asking questions of the servant leader without worrying that the servant leader will feel harassed, threatened or implicitly criticised, Spivey says. In practice, Southwest Airlines, under the leadership of its founder, Herb Kelleher, is often cited as the model servant-leadership corporation.