What are the qualities of a servant leader?

A servant leader actively contributes to the personal development and performance of his or her team. Here are 10 characteristics and traits that distinguish a servant leader from more traditional ones. By paying full attention to what others are saying, servant leaders are able to gain a complete understanding of all the interpersonal situations they are dealing with. They use active listening to resolve conflicts, to counsel others, and also to provide training.

Many people in positions of power are blissfully unaware of their shortcomings, but not the servant leader. They are fully aware of their strengths, weaknesses, values, emotions and feelings. This self-awareness enables the servant leader to understand his or her personal biases and to set them aside when making decisions. A servant leader finds it easy to influence the opinions and actions of others through their ability to persuade.

This quality is very useful in negotiations with business partners, customers and stakeholders. Because servant leaders are committed to the well-being of others, they use this ability only to positively influence others. I have been in a room full of servant leader types. While they all have their own personalities, perspectives and business approaches, there is a clear pattern of shared characteristics they exhibit.

Here are 10 typical qualities of a modern servant leader. When the fire season forced last-minute closures of many California schools, employees of school lunch company Choicelunch took it upon themselves to donate 5,000 meals to first responders on the front lines. Take advantage of advice from peer-to-peer advisory groups, 1-on-1 executive coaching, industry networks, exclusive events and more. There is a beautiful phrase in Christian that we use to describe the kind of person Jesus talks about in Matthew 20: a "servant leader".

In Christ, the goal of our leadership is not to grab power, but to serve. Jesus tells us to humble ourselves and live with integrity. Living life with integrity, especially in the face of challenges and temptations, is an incredible way to witness to those who look up to us. Servant leaders practice flexibility and are willing to adapt to their situations and environment.

They recognise that life may throw them into unexpected situations or challenges. In the context of career, the first two verses of Hebrews 12 define a life of resilience. It is a quality that comes from building spiritual endurance to the point of thriving in challenging situations. Resilience in the Christian life can only happen when we look to Jesus.

If we rely on ourselves and our own strength, we will fail every time we face the middle of our race and give up. Servant leaders recognise that struggles are real and that life is difficult, but that God is in control. Resilience is not an absence of fear, challenges or momentary failure. Resilience is the ability to bounce back, to keep going and keep going based on the truth that God has allowed us to persevere because he is our ultimate source of strength.

When you hear the word "stewardship", your mind probably goes straight to money. One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of the word is "the careful and responsible stewardship of something entrusted to one's care". For a servant leader, empathy is simply being able to visualise yourself in another person's position. It helps you understand what someone else is feeling.

Wycliffe is an interdenominational, non-sectarian, 501(c) tax-exempt mission organization( and a founding member of the ECFA, PO Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862. Servant leadership, like stewardship, involves first and foremost a commitment to serve the needs of others. Vicki Halsey, vice president of applied learning for The Ken Blanchard Companies and author of Brilliance By Design, gave a presentation for leadership, learning and talent development professionals on 3 keys to building a servant leadership curriculum. Servant leadership suggests that a true community can be created among those who work in companies and other institutions. By deliberately linking these words together in a meaningful way, Robert Greenleaf gave birth to the paradoxical term servant leadership.

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. Listening, along with periods of reflection, is essential to the growth and well-being of the servant leader. Greenleaf, the originator of the term servant leadership, is someone who thought and wrote a great deal about the nature of servant leadership and character. This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model and that of servant leadership.

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. The servant leader recognises the tremendous responsibility to do everything in his or her power to foster the personal and professional growth of employees and colleagues. One of the great strengths of servant leadership is the potential for healing oneself and one's relationship with others. Servant leaders have an intuitive ability to predict what is likely to happen in the future, based on the past and present.

Jason Klingler
Jason Klingler

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