Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the leader puts the needs of the team or organization above their own. It works to empower and develop the potential and skills of the team instead of bolstering themselves. The guiding belief spurs the immediate actions of the leader to serve their team rather than to wield power over it. Here are three characteristics and two benefits of adopting a servant leadership style.
Empathy defines servant leadership. An empathetic servant leader is attuned to the needs and concerns of their team and works to understand and address them. Therefore this type of leader displays strong listening skills and an openness to suggestions or recommendations for improvements.
Servant leadership focuses on personal growth and development. Recognizing team members’ unique strengths and weaknesses helps them grow and develop in their areas of expertise. This may involve providing opportunities for training and offering support and guidance when needed. Strong leaders aren’t threatened by team members taking on roles outside their job description based on their gifts.
A focus on collaboration and teamwork also characterizes servant leadership. A servant leader recognizes the team’s success depends on all its members’ contributions. This awareness creates a culture of collaboration and inclusivity. Creating opportunities for people to work together on projects creating a culture of openness and transparency, starting at the top.
Servant leadership increases employee engagement and satisfaction. When team members feel their leader is genuinely interested in their well-being, they are more motivated and committed to their work. This can lead to increased productivity and success for the organization.
Servant leadership creates a positive and supportive work environment. Therefore team members feel comfortable seeking help and support when leaders are approachable and supportive. This leads to a cohesive and collaborative team dynamic, which is vital in times of change or uncertainty.
Shifting from a change-management system to a more collaborative, change-leadership model takes a shift in vision. A true leader is willing to sacrifice some power and control for the betterment of the team and company. The shift can begin today by contacting me about keynote speaking or learning breakout sessions. Leaders must be authentic in their approach to leadership. Remaining faithful to values and beliefs creates a culture of trust, mutual respect, and satisfaction for everyone involved.