Servant Leadership? Latest buzz words?

Servant leadership is key to the success in any organisation and over the past decade has been gaining momentum as a buzz word.

It is anything but a buzz word. Now, more than ever, leaders need to step up and start living the attributes of a servant leader. Which brings us to the next point; Why haven’t we tapped into this before?

Maybe it is because we don’t have an understanding of what servant leadership is. Well, let us start there.

A servant leader is the kind of leader who puts the needs of their people ahead of their own. They understand the importance of assessing the needs of their team and providing them with the right amount of support, guidance, and direction so that they can become self-sufficient individuals and teams.

A servant leader displays attributes by

  • becoming a better listener
  • seeking to understand instead of telling
  • being empathetic and supportive
  • showing their people that they care
  • providing their teams with the tools and skills to perform their jobs
  • ensuring their teams receive timeous and clear communication
  • respecting their people for the skills and knowledge they bring to the business
  • living the values, norms and beliefs of the organisation through their actions and words
  • showing courage especially in times of crisis
  • having a calming effect on their staff

If you are not sure if you display the attributes of a leader with a serving ethos, ask yourself the following questions (Source: Ken Blanchard)

  1. My people would say I am empathetic.
  2. My people would say I am selfless.
  3. My people would say I am humble.
  4. My people would say I am authentic.
  5. My people would say I am caring.
  6. My people would say I am collaborative.
  7. My people would say I am compassionate.
  8. My people would say I am honest.
  9. My people would say I am open-minded.
  10. My people would say I am patient.
  11. My people would say I am self-aware.

So, you didn’t score a perfect 11. We all have room for improvement.
Dan Price coins success for servant leaders in 4 easy steps.

  1. Instead of spending your time defining expectations for your team, spend it identifying how you can support them.
  2. Have your team keep an eye on your actions rather than the other way around.
  3. Ask for feedback rather than telling your team what to do.
  4. Resist the urge to accumulate power. Focus on giving it away.

Do you have the courage to start “serving” your team?

“The servant-leader is servant first…It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” – Robert K. Greenleaf.

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