Servant leaders may not establish their authority and dominance. They may retreat into the comfort of serving their employees, not wanting to commit as much to the chain (which can be the opposite of comforting) and therefore not establishing as strong a presence with their leaders. Another problem with servant leadership is that it can make employees less motivated, and then produce poorer results over time. Servant leaders are naturally inclined to step in and fix problems when they occur, and this may include finishing a task that an employee did not complete.
But the more times a servant leader comes to the rescue, the less motivation it gives employees to work hard. When employees believe that their boss will step in to take care of any needs they have or to solve problems that arise, they are more tempted to sit back and put less effort into their daily tasks. Loss of motivation and productivity is one of the main limitations of servant leadership. Servant leaders support lower level employees and teams.
They support them to make decisions, take more responsibility and have the skills and tools they need to do their job. This means they can respond and adapt quickly when conditions or needs change. The servant leadership bandwagon is still in motion, but it must be derailed. It is a bad idea because it is paternalistic and hinders employee engagement.
In addition to undermining authority, servant leadership can cultivate diminished motivation. When leadership lends a hand, workers are tempted to lower their current level. If the leader is going to carry some of the burden, the followers don't have to carry as much. Servant leadership is about making a difference through a caring and helpful perspective.
Servant leaders are often criticised, but their motivation to do the right thing and help their team and organisation cannot be questioned. Servant leaders work to minimise or eliminate systemic dysfunction through selfless assistance. This sounds admirable, but it is also very difficult to do and requires the leader to have exceptional people skills at all levels. Putting oneself at the service of the common good is the sign of a servant leader.
Taking the pain away from the team, accepting criticism when things go wrong, gaining followers and helping the team find great ways to excel. In Stephen Karpman's Dramatic Triangle - a social model of human interaction - criticism or, as it is called in the model, persecution, the Persecutor is one of several behaviours that appear in dysfunctional environments. The other roles, Victim and Rescuer, are also common. Service leaders must reduce conflict and minimise dysfunction, but not at all costs.
Keeping everyone happy means letting people exist in their comfort zone. Keeping people happy is a widespread criticism of servant leadership, but that view is inaccurate. A good servant leader will find ways to challenge and develop the team, building on strengths and reinforcing weaknesses. Sometimes what is good for the team is not always nice to hear, and the challenge for the servant leader is to keep teams motivated while ensuring honesty about their performance.
Great servant leaders usually have good listening skills, a lot of empathy, the ability to develop others, good persuasive skills and global thinking skills. Servant leadership often leads to high employee engagement, highly motivated employees and a strong sense of ethics. Unfortunately, servant leadership can lead to a strong focus on individuals and consequently less focus on the real goals of the organisation. Furthermore, servant leadership is known to take a long time to establish and does not work in all organisations.
A servant leader must have little or no ego, which is a rare trait among leaders. Secondly, all your points about fostering the success of one's own team would be equally realised by ALL modern leadership models, so any such idea says nothing distinctive about servant leadership, which is what I meant when I stated that this meaning of servant leadership is true but trivial. This is a major departure from the basis of servant leadership which should revolve around the greater good. Empowering employees under the servant leadership model promotes alignment between their own sense of purpose and the company's core values and overall mission.
In particular, if one is not motivated by one's assigned mission, one cannot lead a team well and will not be able to reap the benefits of this leadership style. Servant leadership, being a slippery concept, has other meanings, such as the desire to serve. The servant leader will strive to assess current challenges, promote a vision for the future, engage the team, other managers and superiors. It now appears that a group of organisational psychologists, led by Adam Grant, is attempting to measure the impact of servant leadership on leaders, not just those led.
Establishing a successful system of servant leadership takes time, because it requires a commitment to developing your staff and promoting personal and professional growth. Servant leadership is not for the faint of heart, despite some people's perception that it is "soft" and "indirect". The servant leadership model has become increasingly popular in recent years because it focuses on meeting the needs of employees and empowering them to do their best work. Leadership in a fast-paced and complex world is less like building an engine and more like nurturing a living, breathing organism.
Therefore, however servant leadership is defined, it has too many negative connotations to be broadly persuasive. Moreover, when top management wants middle and lower management to push employees to achieve better performance, it is difficult for servant leaders to step back into a more dominant role. A true servant leader is not paternalistic because that puts him or her at the centre of the equation. There are some leaders who transform the positive qualities of servanthood into strong leadership qualities.