The ten principles of servant leadershipListening. Leaders are seen as decision-makers. Servant leaders strive to understand and empathise with others. Healing brings about transformation and integration.
Although the philosophy of servant leadership has been around for centuries, it was not until Robert K. Greenleaf put the principles in writing in 1970 that the business world began to take notice. Prior to Greenleaf's writings, the corporate world was organised in a top-down structure: the executives, the managers, the assistant managers, the workers. As the philosophy grew in popularity, more companies began to incorporate a horizontal organisational structure based on collaboration and communication, broadening ideas and understanding while increasing the overall effectiveness of the workforce.
Servant leadership is an integral part of modern organisations, and the transition to this type of leadership style rests on an understanding of eight essential principles. When it comes to leadership qualities, none is more important than communication. Open and honest dialogue ensures clarity and also helps reduce tension and confusion. When leading with a servant mentality, there are three areas of communication to focus on.
In top-down organisations, leaders coerce compliance through disciplinary measures and demands. In servant-leader structures, persuasion is preferred to positional authority, which means that communication is used as a means of discovering the right actions and convincing the whole of their rightness. A leader using the servant philosophy understands the importance of consensus in community development. Successful masters of servant leadership know how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of others and themselves.
This ability to be self-aware leads to balance in the team and in the corporate culture. Self-awareness can be uncomfortable, admitting the need for help or lack of skill is not easy, but it is one of the best ways to foster a team mentality. Beyond communication and team building, a leader must be able to drive an organisation through growth and ingenuity, both of which present risks. Therefore, a leader must develop foresight - the ability to systematically examine and diagnose successes and failures in order to predict and avoid future mistakes.
In the practice of servant leadership, conceptualisation refers to the act of thinking or dreaming about new opportunities for growth, often through the realm of foresight, which means planning without losing sight of the present or the past. Essentially, conceptualisation is linked to innovation and is necessary for the success of modern organisations. Stewardship refers to an organisation's responsibility not only to its employees, but to the world as a whole. Many companies are stewards of sound environmental practices.
However, stewardship can also refer to fair labour practices, proper resource management or even fiduciary responsibility. One of the fundamental principles of servant leadership is a commitment to the growth of people. While the goal of any business is organisational growth, servant leaders understand that profits and people are especially intertwined. Without a happy and developing workforce, a company will struggle to maintain and exceed expectations.
Foresight is one of the 8 principles of servant leadership that enables servant leaders to understand the echoes of the past, the existing reality and the consequences of upcoming events. Servant leaders reflect a lot on their experience and their ability to draw on past decisions to improve their decision-making for the future. For some people, this quality comes naturally, but for others, they need to actively strive for foresight. Keeping a journal or setting aside time each week for reflection and learning can be an effective way to develop a more reflective approach to your leadership.
The main characteristic of servant leadership is that it gains followers through persuasion and collaboration, unlike other leadership approaches that make use of power, authority and delegation. Persuasion is one of the 8 principles of servant leadership. Another way of looking at this principle is that servant leaders can persuade and convince others to follow them, rather than forcing them to be obedient. It is important not to think of negative persuasion, such as tricking someone through persuasion or trying to persuade someone to sell.
Instead, we consider persuasion in relation to the service leaders' desire to use intuition to build consensus and obtain employee performance. Using this approach ensures that everyone believes in the vision and is personally invested in their collective achievements and efforts. Being a servant leader, you need to empathise effectively with others. Empathy is one of the 8 principles of servant leadership.
It is important to recognise and accept people for their uniqueness and understand their perspectives. As a leader, you must have a clear understanding of what you and your organisation aspire to achieve. Without this clarity, you will lack direction and vision. Servant leaders can effectively conceptualise the situation they encounter.
This requires a prognosis of the situation and knowledge of the options available. Having a good awareness of self and others is a quality commonly found among servant leaders. Awareness is one of the 8 principles of servant leadership. Understanding your strengths and virtues, as well as your weaknesses and areas for development, is very important to your growth and development to become a servant leader.
If you know your capabilities and those of your team well, you will be better placed to lead yourself and others for the benefit of the organisation. However, awareness should not be limited to individual skills, awareness can also refer to the culture, climate and work environment and how leaders can adapt, empathise and respond in the right way. Healing is not about physical healing, but about healing on a more holistic level. This can be achieved through discussion, coaching, assistance and relationship-oriented leadership styles.
These challenges may be long-term and chronic or they may occur in individuals intermittently throughout their lives. Effective service leaders will be able to identify these problems and provide a cure by creating a positive and supportive work environment and ensuring that each individual is assessed and equipped with the tools they need to succeed. Communication is a two-way process and many leaders will be very good at talking but less good at listening. Effective servant leaders know how to listen to respect others and act on the information they receive.
Listening is at the heart of servant leadership. Listening is one of the 8 principles of servant leadership. This will involve you empowering them to speak without interruption, actively listening to what they say and responding in a meaningful way. Listening is a much needed skill in any workplace.
Listening to your employees will help you develop a cordial bond with your subordinates. Listening will cause any employee complaints to be rectified immediately. But just because something seems difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. So if your company is committed to adopting the 8 principles of servant leadership characteristics and reaping the results, you should go ahead with the plan.
Servant leadership is about ensuring that your leadership is ethical, authentic and focused on more than just profit. In other words, it is about leading by example and modelling decency in leadership. Ethical practices are at the core of servant leadership. This relates to the 10 (1) principles of servant leadership around nurturing the spirit of servant leadership and the leader having a vocation of service.
Management is about taking responsibility for the actions and performance of your team, and being accountable for the role that team members play in your organisation. The leader who also wishes to be a servant leader must broaden his or her thinking to encompass broader conceptual thinking. Robert Greenleaf's principles of servant leadership, described in Th e Servant as Leader (199 , continue to challenge people who aspire to be eﬀ ective leaders. In fact, this principle can be found in several of the other servant leadership principles, such as awareness and healing.
Unlike traditional leaders, a servant leader focuses on coaching and developing individuals, not just on achieving organisational goals. Scott Peck, Peter Senge, Peter Vaill, Margaret Wheatley and Danah Zohar, to name just a few of the cutting-edge leadership authors and advocates of servant leadership. All that is needed to rebuild community as a viable way of life for a large number of people is for a sufficient number of servant-leaders to show the way, not through mass movements, but for each servant-leader to demonstrate his or her unlimited responsibility for a fairly specific community-related group. The servant leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people to develop and perform at their best.
Let's take a closer look at what servant leadership is and the 10 characteristics that define a servant leader. Servant leadership inverts this concept by placing leaders at the bottom of the pyramid in a supportive position. Pre-modern concepts of servant leadership can be traced back to ancient Chinese writings and early Christianity, during which it was believed that "to be a leader, one must first be a servant". Servant leadership, like stewardship, involves first and foremost a commitment to serve the needs of others.
Servant leadership was first proposed by Robert Greenleaf in his 1970 work "The Servant as Leader". Another way of looking at this principle is that servant leaders have the ability to persuade and convince others to follow them, rather than coerce them into compliance. I recently picked up my worn copies of Greenleaf's 1970 essay, The Servant as Leader , and the biography Robert K. Foresight is a characteristic that enables servant leaders to understand the lessons learned from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely outcomes of future decisions.
Their managers focus on the principles of this management strategy to guide and motivate their followers, meet the needs of various stakeholders, and deliver quality services and products to the customers they serve.