Servant leadership

Servant leadership

Is a leadership philosophy that is built on the belief that the most effective leaders strive to serve others, rather than accrue power or take control. 

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Servant leadership vs. other leadership styles

The authoritarian leadership style:

  • The authoritarian style of leadership requires leaders to have total decision-making power and absolute control over their subordinates. Servant leadership upends the top-down power structure.

Similar leadership styles:

  • Ethical leadership urges leaders to show respect for the values and dignity of their subordinates. Servant leadership's emphasis on taking responsibility for the needs and desires of others.
  • Participative leadership style requires leaders to involve subordinates in setting goals, building teams and solving problems but keep the final decision-making in their own hands. Servant leadership includes some of these elements.
  • Listening. A servant leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps to clarify that will.
  • Empathy. A servant leader assumes the good intentions of co-workers and does not reject them as people.
  • Healing. Understand part of their leadership responsibility is to help make whole employees whose sense of self is precarious.
  • Awareness.
  • Persuasion. Servant leaders rely on persuasion not positional authority or coercion, to convince others.
  • Conceptualization. Balancing between thinking big and managing everyday reality.
  • Foresight. The ability to understand the past and see the present clearly to predict how the future will unfold.
  • Stewardship. CEOs, staffs and trustees all have a responsibility to hold the institution "in trust" for the greater good of society.
  • Commitment to the growth of people. Feel a responsibility to nurture the growth of employees.
  • Building community. Find ways to build community in their institutions.

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Characteristics Of Authentic Leaders
  • Rejecting the idea of adopting a different persona.
  • Being self-aware and knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Focusing on delivering results, particularly in the long term.
  • Being driven by the organization's mission and needs.
  • Having integrity and are guided by morals.
  • Being disciplined and committed to their own improvement and growth.
  • Possessing high emotional intelligence.
The servant-leader

Servant leadership is a very social leadership style.

While traditional leadership is about the accumulating, hoarding and exercising (which often degenerates into abusing) of power by the one at the “top of the pyramid,”servant leadership is about sharing power with your team, identifying, prioritising and meeting of others and helping people develop and perform as highly as possible.

The concept of servant leadership
The actual term for a leader who upends the power pyramid to put others' needs first was introduced by Robert Greenleaf in his influential 1970 essay "The Servant As Leader" in 1970.

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