What are examples of servant leadership?

While traditional leadership focuses on helping an organisation thrive, servant leaders put the needs of their employees first. They focus on developing individuals to be their best. Examples of servant leaders are Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. A servant leader understands that they are ultimately responsible for the success of their employees and the success of their company.

If an organisation's goals and objectives are not met, a servant leader will first examine himself and what he could have done better to support his people in achieving them. FedEx was founded in 1971 by Fred Smith, who still leads the company as CEO. He believes that "when you put people first, they will provide the best possible service, and profits will follow". What emerged from this thinking is a distinctive company culture.

The "People - Service - Profit" philosophy has helped the company grow rapidly and remain competitive. Starbucks may not be an obvious choice of servant leadership organisation, but the culture of inclusion and social responsibility is deeply rooted in servant leadership. Its focus on living these values is one of the reasons TDIndustries has made Fortune magazine's prestigious 100 Best Companies list for 20 consecutive years. Explore the 10 characteristics of servant leadership.

As Greenleaf said, the core thought of putting the needs of others first is what drives servant leadership. Servant leaders revolve around the philosophy that it is the team that wins. Servant leaders believe in serving others, building an environment in which they can thrive. Servant leaders are committed to service and are selfless.

They are not overwhelmed, but stand firm in both success and failure. It can also be considered compassionate to serve people in order to empower them and lead them to reach their full potential. Through her faith, Mother Teresa dedicated her life to serving others. Like other leaders of service, she had her critics from time to time, but there was no one who could question her motives behind her desire to help others.

Moreover, she never sought personal recognition, yet she insisted on significant change and was not afraid to express opinions that others would hesitate to say. In time, many call her a saint, with a life that many consider a miracle. The servant leadership style is based on the idea that leaders prioritise serving the common good. Leaders with this style serve their team and the organisation first.

They do not prioritise their own goals. Servant leadership is not a new concept, but it has only become more prominent as a corporate leadership philosophy in recent decades. We will also delve into some examples of how servant leadership can be used effectively to motivate and inspire your team. Those mentioned above are not the only servant leaders out there, as there are countless others who do not like to be listened to, which is how servant leaders tend to like it.

However, many are not sure what servant leadership looks like and what they can do to become a servant leader. As you can see, servant leadership is about serving others and supporting them when they need you. For servant leadership, being empathetic means understanding the emotions of others without judging or criticising them. Organisations with a servant leadership culture believe that if employees are cared for and put first, those same employees will be highly motivated to create loyal and satisfied customers.

Servant leaders help their team members become leaders by leading by example and providing their team with opportunities to grow and develop. Empowering employees under the servant leadership model promotes alignment between their own sense of purpose and the company's core values and overall mission. Servant leaders create innovative goals and strategies to bring out these traits to push boundaries and motivate employees to take charge. A servant leader first trusts the positive intentions of the people who work for him and takes them on board.

You can better understand the origins of these servant leadership principles by exploring the original essay on servant leadership. For servant leaders, it is about a willingness to put others first, as any parent does with their children.

Jason Klingler
Jason Klingler

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