What Is Servant Leadership?

What Is Servant Leadership?

Management looks distinctive for anyone.

Some pick to use a democratic type, wherever they make remaining selections following acquiring enter from team users. Some are individualists, focused on private enhancement and improvement, although some others act as a coach that is effective to assistance personnel establish their abilities and establish solid teams.

Despite the fact that distinct in exercise, most leadership kinds have in widespread that the chief is a force of authority at their business — fully distinctive from servant management, where authority is purposely still left by the wayside.

In this write-up, learn about servant management, its most important features, and how it can profit your organization.

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What is servant leadership?

Servant leadership is the concept that a leader’s major goal is to provide their employees and give them the aid they have to have to produce their expertise and triumph at their positions. This differs from classic leadership in that a leader does not enforce their authority or address other people as subordinates.

Robert K. Greenleaf very first coined the time period servant chief in his 1970 essay The Servant as Chief. In the essay, he suggests that the servant chief “Focuses primarily on the advancement and very well-being of men and women and the communities to which they belong” and that they “Put the desires of other people very first and assist people develop and complete as remarkably as attainable.”

Primarily, the leader (a manager, CEO, or any sort of executive at a company) exists to serve the people today that perform for the enterprise. In switch, employees supported by a leader with their best curiosity at heart are far more inspired, empowered, significant-performing, and equipped to give shoppers with the most effective doable working experience.  

Servant Leadership Characteristics

In his essay, Greenleaf outlines 10 basic ideas of servant management, which we’ll talk about down below.

servant leadership characteristics

1. Listening

Servant leaders should be very good listeners. It will help them get to know the people that do the job for the business enterprise and what they are all about.

With listening, servant leaders will uncover insight about workers that will help them finest assist their requirements, irrespective of whether it is knowledge locations for particular improvement or merely mastering how personnel feel at function and if anything at all requires to be finished to strengthen their working experience.

2. Empathy

Servant leaders will need to be empathetic as it’s a person of the very best techniques to enable workforce expand to be the ideal they can be.

For example, an staff may possibly convey a desire to develop a distinct ability, and they want to really feel as even though you’re listening to them and knowledge their needs. Empathy will help with this, as you are going to be able to relate to their curiosity and ask further more inquiries that aid you enable them shift forward.

Empathy is also essential in servant management when it will come to correcting behaviors. For case in point, say that an staff could not fulfill a objective at the conclusion of the quarter. With standard leadership, you might inform the personnel that they must perform far better with no supplying actionable information that will assist them do so.

Instead, a servant chief would be empathetic towards the problem and want to have an understanding of the roadblocks that prompted them to wrestle. Of class, you’d continue to like to make sure that it wouldn’t materialize once more, but you’d do the job along with the worker to promise they have the equipment to execute far better and meet their objectives subsequent quarter.

3. Healing

Greenleaf says that servant leaders need to have an understanding of the value of therapeutic as folks are not often used to working in circumstances in which their leader doesn’t force their authority and demand compliance.

A servant chief requirements to recognize that they may well will need to do the job with staff to turn into comfortable with the procedure and create a doing work environment that builds trust and can help them be snug with your management model.

4. Self-consciousness

Servant leaders ought to be self-informed for the reason that they require to comprehend their place and perception within their team. For case in point, if you are implementing your authority, you’re not a servant chief, and you are very likely pushing employees absent. Therefore, it is essential to be knowledgeable of the place you take up inside your group on a day-to-working day basis.

Self-awareness also assists servant leaders realize their strengths and weaknesses when helping personnel to be the most effective they can be. For instance, if you acquire feed-back that you are not the most effective at speaking, you should really determine your weakness and do the job to make improvements to, as staff simply cannot realize success if they really don’t comprehend you.

5. Persuasion

Servant leaders use persuasion instead of ability and authority to influence their teams and get everyone on the exact same site. You need to encourage other people and get invest in-in devoid of forcing compliance or telling persons that they only have to do a little something for the reason that you explained they have to.

6. Conceptualization

Conceptualization suggests that servant leaders can build a route for their groups that will convey business achievements.

This crucial characteristic right relates to other abilities on this list. For instance, suppose a servant leader conceptualizes a goal for staff. In that situation, they should be in a position to persuade with out forcing compliance and provide workers with everything they need to have to assistance actualize the aim and be there for them during the method.

7. Foresight

The Oxford Language Dictionary defines foresight as the potential to forecast or the motion of predicting what will come about or be needed in the future. With servant management, this suggests working with historical general performance and recent objectives to predict upcoming outcomes and what employees will have to have to aid them thrive.

For case in point, if your groups have historically struggled with a particular activity and that activity is demanded to fulfill an future goal, your foresight need to let you know that you’d want to be existing to help when employees are endeavor that activity, and it’s possible deliver additional methods to ensure persons do not get trapped.

8. Stewardship

Stewardship is synonymous with accountability in servant leadership. The leader can just take obligation for their steps and realize how their support for their staff members contributes to the all round general performance of their groups.

9. Determination to the Progress of Persons

Servant leaders want staff members to be geared up with the applications and means they need to triumph and truly feel enthusiastic to assistance the business do well. As these kinds of, servant leaders need to be fully commited to the growth and advancement of people today.

In follow, this can glimpse like guaranteeing workforce have the suitable schooling for their required responsibilities, arranging development opportunities, or even checking in with workers to comprehend their occupation goals and figuring out how to support them get there.

10. Building community

Workplace communities foster a feeling of rely on and togetherness, which assists persons sense like they are performing jointly to meet up with a common objective. As a servant chief, you’d want to ensure that your place of work feels like a community by building interactions with many others and encouraging men and women to create relationships with their coworkers.

As pointed out earlier mentioned, servant management is appreciably various from conventional leadership styles. The chief is not an authoritative pressure but much more of a collaborator that works alongside employees to help them realize success. It may possibly be handy to have some illustrations of what servant leadership can appear like in action, so we’ll discuss some down below.

Servant Management Examples

Major by Case in point

A servant leader is inclined to do nearly anything that they talk to their workers to do.

So, let’s say that employees are rushing to meet up with quotas for the month. Relatively than instructing personnel to just operate more challenging, a servant chief will sit down with them and aid them get there. It’s possible they choose on some jobs, encourage staff, and present actionable assistance that will help them meet their targets.


A servant chief sits down with personnel and asks them to share opinions about company procedures and irrespective of whether they support them carry out their responsibilities. The servant chief actively listens to suggestions, learns from what they’ve heard, and performs to make necessary adjustments to support personnel seamlessly do their operate.


A servant leader cares about their workers as individuals. If somebody arrives to them and lets them know that they are going as a result of something, the servant chief does not convey to them to examine their thoughts at the doorway or advise them that they much better not slide limited of expectations.

As an alternative, they work with the employee to establish a plan that will let them to triumph in spite of what they’re likely by means of.

Servant Management Can Support Providers Triumph

Whilst various from common types, servant leaders can develop inspired and capable groups that be successful in company.

If you happen to be a chief on the lookout to consider their hand at this management design, make certain that you comprehend who your employees are as persons, give them with the resources and aid they want to thrive, and act as an ever-present source, no matter what they want.

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