What is Servant Leadership Style?

What is Servant Leadership Style?

The Servant Leader Serves First and Leads Second. We can find resemblances to Transformational Leadership, but Servant Leadership Style is all about putting the people and environment first by not being self or task oriented. The Servant Leaders believe if the workplace is nurtured, the success and efficient work will come on its own. It’s basically like preparing the best place for the chicken to lay eggs. The best place to ovulate and bring its chick into life, just like that project you or your Stakeholders have been dreaming to accomplish for so long.

“The servant-leader is Servant First… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.”

Robert K. Greenleaf, Father of Servant Leadership in “The Servant as Leader

Let’s define what we mean by this Productive Environment!

When we say Work Environment, we refer to various components of a Productive Workplace.

These are:

  • Relationship Between Team Members
  • Clarity of Projects/Task
  • Collaboration Between the Leader and Team Members
  • Culture of the Organization
  • Employee Satisfaction and Fulfilment
  • Leader’s Individual Approach Towards Team Members

The Servant Leadership Style puts their people first. Their needs, thoughts, and voice matter. The Servant Leader listens. The Servant Leader, genuinely, cares.

Characteristics of Servant Leadership Style

Being a Servant Leader is difficult, but luckily for us Leadership Experts headhunted Servant Leaders and safely examined the Characteristics of Servant Leadership Style.

Whenever you’re ready!

1. The Servant Leader is without Status: “Not on Top of the World”

The Servant Leader does not care about possessions or climbing the deadly stairs, running like there is no tomorrow, to rise. The Servant Leader does not pretend, the people who naturally have the Servant Leadership Style, intuitively, search for a greater purpose than themselves, and they meet at a common point according to hundreds of research: Serve the People.

Let’s take a General of an Army. The general has a high position however the General is there to serve their people, do the best for their people, fight in the name of country for their people, to protect their people, to preserve their wellbeing. It’s what they believe in.

A Greater Purpose.

A Purpose Greater than the Leader themselves.

And the Servant Leader does it intuitively, not obligatorily. Servant Leader feels the urge to give back to their people.

2. Doesn’t Have to Be a Person: The Servant Leader Institution

Robert Greenleaf said, in his second essay, that Institutions can also function as the agents of Servant Leadership as well as the Individuals themselves.

In his thesis he explained The Servant Institution as;

caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built. Whereas, until recently, caring was largely person to person, now most of it is mediated through institutions – often large, complex, powerful, impersonal; not always competent; sometimes corrupt. If a better society is to be built, one that is more just and more loving, one that provides greater creative opportunity for its people, then the most open course is to raise both the capacity to serve and the very performance as servant of existing major institutions by new regenerative forces operating within them.”

3. The Servant Leader as the Listener

The Servant Leader Listens First, they talk Second. They do not listen to react; they listen to understand. They give the opportunity of being listened to each member of the Team, showing that they are respected, and their voice is cherished in the workplace.

By listening, the Servant Leader gathers information and insight of the status in tasks, project or have a general idea about the temperature of the work environment. For this reason, the Servant Leader should have astonishing Listening skills..

4. The Servant Leadership Style is Empathetic

The Servant Leader approaches people with genuine Empathy. This means caring about their social, emotional, mental, and physical status. The Leader is not a parent, but sometimes approaching from the shoes of a Coach may help improve the working environment.

Servant Leaders care about each of their team member’s wellbeing because the Servant Leaders know how personal issues, or in general life, sometimes get in the way of business life and with the empathetic approach, the Servant Leader understands and tries to be there for their Team Members.

5. The Servant Leader Heals

For the Most Efficient Work Environment, all conflicts and problems from previous terms must be dealt with openly. No Team Member should have an old grudge or malign attitude, else this may lead to problems in the workplace and therefore influence the entire project irretrievably.

6. The Servant Leadership Syle is Aware

Servant Leader is Conscious of Themselves, their Team and Environment. They accept their failures and achieve growth within them. Furthermore, The Servant Leader is aware of their and their Team Members’ individual weaknesses and strengths. The Servant Leader considers and examines this knowledge when appointing their Team Members to projects or tasks so that they can learn and achieve growth in the workplace.

7. The Servant Leader Persuades

Servant Leader does not give unquestionable directives to Team Members, instead they convince each Team Member about why it is the best direction to move forward, unlike authoritarian leadership style. Unless the entire Team is convinced, the Leader does not move forward.

 8. The Servant Leader is Committed

The Servant Leader is committed to their Responsibilities in the workplace and to the people, in other words, Community. The Servant Leadership requires the effort of creating the best and the most productive workspace one can think of!

The Servant Leader motivates their Team to grow and continuously learn from their experiences. With this assistance, Team Members achieve growth, success and they learn to express themselves freely in the workplace. With the guidance they get from the Servant Leader, they climb their career steps faster and with each step, stronger.

Bottom Line

We learned that the Servant Leader does not lead but serves first. This service is natural and intuitive. It does not feel synthetic because the Servant Leader already carries that urge of serving a greater purpose than themselves. The Servant Leader does not carry a concern of professional status, instead makes effort for their Team Members to achieve growth and Rise by Discovering their Full Potential.

To sum it all up, the Servant Leader,

  • Aims to Serve a Greater Purpose
  • Encourages Collaboration and Healthy Space for Communication in the Workplace
  • Listens not to react or respond but to Understand
  • Is conscious of the Potential of themselves and their Team Members
  • Embraces each of their Team Members with Empathy
  • Is committed to their Community and Each Member of the Community’s Career and Self Growth

And that’s all we have to say about Servant Leadership Style.

Do you think you are a Servant Leader?

Is a Servant Leader Born or Made?

Let us know in the comments below!

Take care and we will see you soon in another exciting article!

Can’t Get Enough of Servant Leadership?

See Also

Doblin 10 Types of Innovation


Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe?”

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