Servant Leadership Definition & Characteristics of Servant Leadership
Servant Leadership Definition
Servant leadership is a leadership style in which the leader puts the needs of others firsts (or team first). Servant leaders believe that when their team members feel personally and professionally fulfilled, they produce higher quality work more efficiently and productively. Employee satisfaction and collaboration are important concepts in servant leadership. You can use this leadership style in any type of business, but it is particularly popular within nonprofit organizations
Servant leadership is the opposite of what we traditionally think of as leadership. All too often, we confuse leadership with dictatorship or autocratic leadership, but with servant leadership, instead of the team serving the leader, the top-down hierarchy is turned on its head. With servant leadership, the leader serves the team.
This approach can lead to higher commitment and performance levels, from the team members to their work, the team, and their manager.
The critical point about servant leadership is that a servant leader will be a servant first. They’ll put the needs of others before themselves, especially the needs of their team.
Principles of Servant Leadership( Characteristics of Servant Leadership)
- A strong desire to serve. Servant leadership is rooted in this desire to serve the servant leader.
- Focuses on what they can do for their people.
- They are supporting people to meet their goals both inside and outside of the office. They make their team feel like a community.
- It involves others in decision making when it’s appropriate.
- Acting with integrity is another vital principle of servant leadership.
These qualities lead to a stronger team with higher trust levels, higher commitment, and stronger relationships, leading to higher performance from the whole team.
Servant Leadership Example
As mentioned, servant leadership is about serving others. An excellent example of a servant leader is Jesus Christ. the Bible, Jesus always emphasized the need for servant-hood. By washing his disciple’s feet was a classic way to show them the servant leadership way. This is where a leader looks first to how their service benefits others.
How to Become A Servant Leader?
You need to develop these core skills.
Qualities of Servant Leadership
serving leadership is about more than just making decisions. Servant leaders must be excellent listeners, and listening, obviously, is about hearing what individual members of your team are really saying. Then you can use this information this better steal the team towards its objectives.
But listening is about more than just what’s being spoken.
You’ve got to be able to read between the lines and hear what’s not being said, and you’ve got to be able to pick up on body language cues.
Empathy is obviously closely related to listening, and empathy will allow you to put your own views to one side and see the world through the eyes of a member of your team; without this open mind, it’s challenging to be empathetic.
Health is about supporting each team member physically as well as mentally. From a manager’s perspective, this means making sure each team member has everything they need to do their job well, including support in guidance.
It could also mean access to counseling services or robust health and safety emphasis
Self-awareness is about being able to see your own emotions and behaviors and really understand how they affect others.
You are examining how your behavior affects others. It might not make you feel grace, but it should prompt you to recalibrate how you do things so you can get better at how you do things.
And you can get better at fixing issues more quickly. Constant self-examination on the recalibration of your approach that follows will, over time, make you a better leader now.
The servant leader doesn’t need the authority to get things done. Instead, they used persuasion
This involves looking beyond the day to day management of the team. It’s about being able to look at the horizon and see the longer-term vision in an organizational context. The longer-term vision is often derived from the strategic direction of the company.
Foresight is about being able to look also beyond the day to day. But this time, it’s about being able to see what might go wrong. It is seeing issues that might arise in the future and then taking appropriate steps to mitigate these issues.
It’s about, you know, scenario planning, risk management, and user experience alongside the realities of the present to plan for the future as best you can.
It means accepting that you are responsible for your team’s performance, and it means it means being the accountable person when your team doesn’t perform now.
One common way to motivate your team to perform as a servant leader is to lead by example.
That includes modeling the behaviors on the values that you expect your team members to show and exhibit.
Commitment to Team Growth.
A servant leader aims to grow each employee beyond the ability of merely being able to do their job well.
The servant-leader should help each team member as best they can to reach their potential. And that means, obviously, professionally.
But it also means personally to this usually takes the form of some training.
And finally, we get to building community, and servant leaders make a great team spirit, a sense of community on a sense off, everybody being in it together.
How servant leadership relate to the other styles of leadership
Firstly, it’s essential to realize that servant leadership is more of a way of being than a challenging style of direction now.
It has nothing in common with autocratic leadership, where you’re merely barking orders at your team, but it does work well with democratic and transformational leadership styles. These are styles of leadership that have high people emphasis.
You don’t need to hold formal power or be the boss to be a servant leader; you could behave as a servant leader while being part of the team.
By doing this, you will build what’s known as you’re referring to power.
In summary, servant leadership is the opposite of what we traditionally think of as a leadership servant.
Leadership begins with a strong desire to help others to serve. It isn’t a leadership style, per se. Still, it can work well with people-focused leadership styles, such as democratic leadership and transformational leadership, where the emphasis is on relationships rather than task management.