There’s no one way to be a leader. Every individual has unique talents and skills that they bring to the table. However, some general characteristics are common among good leaders. If you aspire to be a servant leader, these are the ten qualities you should strive for.
Who is a Servant Leader?
The term “servant leadership” was first coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay he published in 1970. In it, he described servant leaders as individuals who “seek to serve first, rather than lead first.”
Greenleaf believed the traditional view of leadership – where the leader is at the top of the pyramid, with power and control over others – was outdated. He argued that a more effective way to lead is by putting the needs of others first and serving them.
While Greenleaf’s essay was published over 50 years ago, servant leadership is still a relevant and popular concept today. Many successful organizations are built on servant-leadership principles, and more and more people are interested in this type of leadership.
What is Servant Leadership?
Servant leadership is a type where the leader’s primary focus is serving others. A servant leader puts the needs of others above their own and works to meet the needs of those they lead.
While servant leaders may have positional authority over others, they do not use that authority in a self-serving way. Instead, they use it to empower and support others.
Servant leaders are often humble and have a strong sense of empathy. They are good listeners and try to understand the perspectives of those they lead. They also have a clear vision and can articulate it to inspire others.
While servant leadership is about serving others, it is not the same as being a doormat. Servant leaders are assertive, confident, and not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. They also have high standards and expect others to meet them.
10 characteristics of a servant leader
If you’re wondering whether servant leadership is right for you, here are ten characteristics of a servant leader.
Summary of 10 Characteristics of servant leadership
Servant leaders are focused on others and their needs.
They are good listeners and take the time to understand what others say.
They communicate clearly and have a clear vision so that they can inspire others.
They are humble but also confident in their abilities.
They are assertive and not afraid to stand up for their beliefs.
They have high standards and are always striving for excellence.
They are decisive and able to make decisions quickly.
They are passionate about their work and strongly committed to their values.
They can build trust and credibility with those they lead.
They are likelier to create a positive and collaborative work environment.
1. They Put the Needs of Others First
A key characteristic of servant leaders is that they always put the needs of others before their own. This doesn’t mean they never take care of themselves – they prioritize the needs of those they lead.
2. They Have a Strong Sense of Empathy
Servant leaders can put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand their perspectives. This empathy allows them to serve others better and meet their needs.
3. They Are Good Listeners
Servant leaders are patient and take the time to listen to what others say. They understand that everyone has something valuable to contribute.
4. They Communicate Clearly
Servant leaders have a clear vision and can communicate it in a way that inspires others. They are also good at giving feedback and offering support.
5. They Are Humble
Servant leaders are humble and modest. They do not seek credit or recognition but instead focus on the success of those they lead.
6. They Are Confident
While servant leaders are humble, they are also confident in their abilities. They know their strengths and weaknesses and are not afraid to take risks.
7. They Are Assertive
Servant leaders are assertive and not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. They are confident in their abilities and can make tough decisions.
8. They Have High Standards
Servant leaders expect a lot from themselves and from those they lead. They always strive for excellence and are not afraid to hold others accountable.
9. They Are Decisive
Servant leaders can make decisions quickly and confidently. They do not second-guess themselves or hesitate to make tough choices.
10. They Are Passionate
Servant leaders are passionate about what they do and strongly committed to their values. They are always looking for ways to improve and make a positive impact.
If you identify with these characteristics, servant leadership may be right for you. Remember that servant leadership is not about being perfect – it’s about striving to serve others in the best way possible.
Recognizing the Benefits of Servant Leadership
While servant leadership is not a new concept, it has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people are interested in this type of leadership.
There are many benefits to being a servant leader. For one, it can help you build trust and credibility with those you lead. Servant leaders are also more likely to create a positive and collaborative work environment.
In addition, servant leadership can help you develop stronger relationships with those you lead. This is because servant leaders focus on meeting the needs of others and making sure that everyone feels valued.
Finally, being a servant leader can also help you to be more successful in your career. This is because servant leaders are often more effective and efficient than other leaders.
Need for Great Leaders
In today’s world, there is a great need for servant leaders. With so many challenges and problems to solve, we need leaders focused on others and making a positive impact.
If you desire to lead and make a difference, consider becoming a servant leader. Remember, it’s not about being perfect – striving to serve others in the best way possible.
Conclusion: As a leader, having the characteristics of a servant leader is important. These include being authentic, humble and focused on others’ success. When you lead with these qualities, you create an environment where people want to follow your example and work together to achieve common goals.
What other servant leadership characteristics would you add to this list? Start working on them; success is getting closer!