Servant Leadership is not about being a slave

Servant leadership is not about being a slave. It’s about considering the needs of those you lead and making them feel psychologically safe. It also means that we should make people uncomfortable for them to grow but with the relevant boundaries in place. Servant leadership isn’t about wielding power but demonstrating authority with a balance of support.

Servant leadership is about considering the needs of those you lead and making them feel psychologically safe

The concept of servant leadership originated in the 1960s. Dr. Robert Greenleaf proposed it as a way to help organisations become more effective. He believed that true leadership required putting the needs of others ahead of one’s own interests.

Servant leadership theory focuses on how leaders treat those around them. This type of leadership emphasizes the importance of building relationships, ensuring employees are happy, and helping them grow professionally. In contrast, autocratic leadership places an emphasis on individualism and self-interest.

In his book “The Servant Leader,” author John Kotter describes three types of leadership styles: authoritarian, laissez-faire, and servant.

  • Authoritarian leaders demand obedience and control.
  • Laissez-faire leaders allow things to happen without taking responsibility.
  • Servant leaders put the needs of others above themselves. They believe that the best way to lead is to serve.

It also means that we should make people comfortable for them to grow but with the relevant boundaries in place

If you are looking for a leadership style that is focused on others, then servant leadership may be right for you. Remember, it is not about being a slave to those you lead. It is about considering their needs and making them feel psychologically safe.

Characteristics

  • A servant leader is someone who sets goals and inspires others to achieve those goals.
  • A servant leader is different because he/she approaches situations and organisations from the perspective of a servant first.
  • He/She seeks to meet the needs of stakeholders before his/her own. In addition, a servant leader holds himself/herself and others accountable for what he/she says and does.
  • Finally, a servant leader is willing to take responsibility for making mistakes and failures happen.

The characteristics listed above are traits that define servant leadership. These traits make up the core values of servant leadership.

For example, a servant leader understands the needs of people around him/her and takes action to help them succeed.

This type of servant leadership helps employees feel valued and appreciated.

It is not about wielding power but demonstrating authority with a balance of support

Servant leadership is about influence and not control. Servant leaders use their positional power to help others reach their goals. They do this by sharing information, providing resources, and offering support.

A servant leader demonstrates authority with a balance of support. This means that they provide guidance when needed but also allow employees the freedom to make decisions.

Servant leaders know that their employees are capable of handling responsibility. This type of leader trusts his or her team and provides the necessary support for them to succeed.

10 principles of Servant leadership are:

  1. Listening: Leaders are seen as those who make the decisions, but a servant leader knows that listening is an important part of the decision-making process.
  2. Empathy: Servant leaders strive to understand and empathize with others. This helps them to build trust and relationships.
  3. Healing: Servant leaders see their role as one of helping others to heal from their wounds. They provide support and encouragement during difficult times.
  4. Awareness: Servant leaders are aware of the needs of those around them. They pay attention to what is happening in the lives of their employees and act accordingly.
  5. Persuasion: Servant leaders use persuasion, rather than force, to get people to buy into their vision. They know that people are more likely to follow a leader they believe in.
  6. Conceptualization: Servant leaders are able to see the big picture. They can develop a long-term vision and plan for how to achieve it.
  7. Foresight: Servant leaders use foresight to anticipate the needs of those around them. They are able to see potential problems and develop solutions before they happen.
  8. Stewardship: Servant leaders see themselves as stewards of their organizations. They take care of their employees and resources.
  9. Commitment to the growth of others: Servant leaders are committed to helping others grow and develop. They provide opportunities for their employees to learn and advance in their careers.
  10. Build community: Servant leaders work to build a sense of community within their organisations. They create an environment where people feel like they belong and are valued.

In summary, servant leadership is about moving towards collaboration and empowerment rather than command and control.

Authority figures should act like servants and not dictators. This helps people to feel valued and respected.

Leadership styles are context-dependent. Some people thrive under authoritative leaders while others prefer collaborative leaders.

Servant leadership is based on the belief that leaders are servants first and foremost. This type of leader sets goals and inspires others to achieve those goals.

Gaj Ravichandra
Gaj Ravichandra
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