A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu
In order to lead, one must serve. A servant leader is one who puts the needs of others first and helps individuals develop and perform at their highest capability while still achieving the goals set forth by the organization.
Become a servant leader by incorporating the following practices in your leadership style:
- Listening: Servant leaders must listen to verbal and non-verbal signs and interpret what others want and support them through decision making.
- Empathy: Understand and empathize with others. Consider what the others are feeling, experiencing. Appreciate and respect them.
- Healing: The ability to heal your self and others is a powerful force for transformation and integration of relationships.
- Awareness: A servant leader must gain general awareness and self-awareness. This helps the leader better understand all situations.
- Persuasion: A servant leader doesn’t take advantage of its followers. Instead they convince others, rather than coerce compliance.
- Conceptualization: The servant leader must look at a situation or problem above and beyond the scope of day-today realties.
- Foresight: A servant leader must have the ability to foresee likely outcomes of situations. Allows the leader to learn from the past and to achieve better in the future.
- Stewardship: Commitment to serve the needs of others. Its also emphasizes the use of openness and persuasion rather than control.
- Commitment to the growth of people: A servant leader is committed to the personal growth of all individuals within the organization. The leader would nurture personal, professional and spiritual growth from its followers.
- Building community: A servant leader identifies means to build a strong community within their organization and with surrounding business/organizations and communities.
“Servant Leadership” – Robert Greenleaf