The 10 Principles of Servant Leadership Today by Robert K Greenleaf.
- Listening – The first response to any problem should be listening. Listening is an opportunity to gather information so that you can make a conscious choice. Only by taking the time to get an accurate picture of the situation can one solve it.
- Empathy – Follows after listening- This is an effort to empathize with others and help with the people’s highest priority needs. So as to help them gain perspective. Empathy is the ability to understand people’s needs, feelings, and circumstances.
- Healing – Everyone feels like they lack something in life. A great leader identifies where they can support a sense of wholeness in other people. A great leader recognizes healing as a common desire.
- Self-Awareness – True leadership involves having the ability to take a realistic look at yourself and your behavior. Self-awareness can lead to improving weaker areas thus a step towards becoming a better leader. People who don’t recognize their deficits can never learn from them thus find it hard to make a conscious choice that benefits others.
- Persuasion – Rather than using the power of a leadership position to coerce others into action, the servant leadership style of influence focuses on clarity and support. A great leader will change his mindset and Instead of saying, “do this,” an effective leader will say, “here’s what needs to happen. How can I support you? This level of humility often leads to trust from your employees.
- Conceptualization – In other words, imagination. The leader looks into the future to determine which direction the organization should be heading and makes a conscious choice. The focus here is on the long-term perspective instead of daily operations.
- Foresight – Using lessons from past experiences on servant leadership culture can help an effective leader anticipate future scenarios. Remembering which approaches worked and which didn’t strengthen your leadership role and brings about transformational leadership and great change in the future.
- Stewardship – Stewardship is being held accountable for responsibilities given to us by others. This responsibility will force you to work towards positive leadership development, as well as offer personal growth. Effective leadership will entail trustworthiness and good ethics in the work environment when managing community resources. These can be the organization’s funds, property, and equipment.
- Commitment to Growth – Part of what makes teamwork and a good servant leader realize organizational goals is diversity. If a business had 20 accountants but no sales, marketing, or human resources personnel need to search themselves and see where they are going wrong. Effective leadership entails recognizing each individual’s contribution to the group and supporting the growth that they’re working toward exemplifies this principle.
- Building Community – This can be especially important for teams that work from home. A good leader will not neglect them and just be comfortable with business meetings to share agendas and profit projections, instead, he will offer opportunities for members to table their concerns and even have fun activities, If you want to be a successful leader, you will recognize that there should be activities that will let each one showcase their skill and form bonds with other team members.
What is Servant Leadership in Business?
Leadership styles (servant or traditional), are most often applied in the business arena. The servant leadership style can help guide those who are new to leadership roles and those who want to improve their leadership skills.
Utilizing servant leadership principles in the workplace can transform a stagnant operation into an innovative collaborative thus making you a successful leader. Employee satisfaction will come in when they feel their supervisors are just as hard-working as they are, the more investment they’re likely to have in their roles within the company.
For the servant leadership styles of business to operate, personnel at all levels must have the servant leadership approach. If the company’s CEO is always unreachable, they can’t engage in the first two principles of listening and showing empathy.
A leader can implement the servant leadership approach in various ways; clarify expectations, provide sufficient resources, provide comprehensive training, provide tools for professional growth, and share relevant information.
Servant leaders see that the success of individuals leads to overall success for the business. A leader doesn’t get far without their team. In recognition of that fact, the servant leader commits the time and resources it takes to bolster individual members.
Discovering people’s needs can be done in several ways. Surveys, assessments, and simple conversations can produce actionable results. A leader can allocate resources where they’re needed the most. Choosing to give appropriately to support the team will bring results down the line.
What Does Servant Leadership Mean to You?
If you’re looking to improve your management style, it pays to look into servant leadership style as a philosophy. It would be best if you started with an assessment of your current style. How do you resolve conflict in the workplace? Is your overall approach deterrent-based or incentive-based?
Next, think about how you relate to your team and how they relate to one another. How well do the members of your team know each other? Do you facilitate team-building activities? Do you practice generosity in giving information, or do you give half information? How much time do you spend giving one-on-one attention?
You can also think of servant leadership from the opposite angle. Is the person you report to using a servant leadership style? If so, what have you seen that you can apply to your own leadership practices? If not, how would you do things differently? How has their leadership affected your emotional intelligence?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, congratulations! You’re already applying one of the principles of servant leadership – self-awareness. This principle is one that many professionals struggle with because it can be hard to be objective about oneself.
3 Case Studies On Servant Leadership
Researchers study servant leadership to compare it with other styles of leadership. Being able to put actual numbers behind various styles helps us see the quantitative difference between them. Now that we have a solid definition of servant leadership let’s look at a few examples.
See if you can determine which of the following leaders reflect the key aspects of servant leadership.
1. Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
In a study that examined cultural leadership qualities and their impact on sports organizations, the author looked at two Vancouver Canucks hockey players. Daniel and Henrik Sedin played lead roles as winger and captain/center, respectively.
Both brothers had successful careers in the NHL and were described positively by management and teammates. The organization as a whole during its tenure received several awards.
The brothers have a reputation for having a strong work ethic on and off the ice. They donated their game winnings to a children’s hospital and the team’s training staff in at least two different instances.
These three examples show leaders in three separate fields who have all garnered accolades for their servant leadership. Their public statements and reputations are evidence of their leadership philosophy. It should be easy to identify at least one element of servant leadership’s ten principles in each one.
Suppose you are interested in changing or learning your own management style to follow the servant leadership model. You should remember that progress is not instantaneous. If your first efforts fail, it does not mean you can’t be an effective servant leader.
You will need a way to quantify your level of success. One way to start is to set personal goals and with persuasion decide how you’ll measure effectiveness. Take note of what progress has been made so far and where there’s stagnation. Then, implement your plan and observe the results using your measurement matrix.
You also don’t have to implement all ten principles right away. You can start with a few variables first to see if they’re a good fit for you and your team. Once you have those down, pull in a few more principles to incorporate.
The business world is rife with examples of companies that have implemented servant leadership styles with great success. Howard Schultz is one of many examples of corporate leaders who were also servant leaders. Like any management style, servant leadership is not flawless. It has its proponents and detractors. Although the style is applicable in many scenarios, it isn’t the answer to every business problem.