What is servant leadership and how it can change your business

Recent IT and technological advancements, such as cloud computing and storage, allow business owners to access unlimited IT capacity that is not possible with hard storage approaches. As IT systems become more complex, continuous optimization of cloud services will enable these companies to scale faster, be more agile, and accelerate business operations.

While implementing emerging digital technologies is critical to the growth of any company, the management of people, assets and finances bear the greatest responsibility for successful business outcomes. While many types of leadership models can help achieve this, servant leadership can truly inspire people and transform companies.

“Building great leaders starts with a culture that promotes learning. Consider offering a robust leadership development program to help managers acquire the appropriate skills, including developing emotional intelligence, building relationships, and identifying skills gaps that translate into highly engaged, The best performing team.”

different leadership styles

Leadership isn’t just learned from books. It is also developed from experience. However, different leadership models also have certain temperament or personality characteristics. How supervisors, managers, or executives direct and motivate their teams to execute company strategy for the benefit of stakeholders can take a variety of ways.

Bureaucratic leaders are all about following the rules and following strict procedures. On the other end of the spectrum are laissez-faire leaders. This type of manager believes in allowing subordinates a lot of decision-making freedom, sometimes at the risk of productivity and accountability.

Some leaders are visionary, choosing to follow hidden trends and personal goals rather than current best practices and economic indicators, while others may be more authoritarian. An authoritarian leadership style has complete control over all decisions, with little or no input from departmental leaders.

Here, we’ll explore servant leadership style management, a modern business philosophy that builds better organizations while enriching the lives of employees.

The theory behind servant leadership

Robert K. Greenleaf popularized the term “servant leadership” in the 1970s by publishing an article titled “The Servant as a Leader.” This article is loosely based on a fictional book character who temporarily left his company only to find that everything fell apart in his absence. The company’s failure makes the boss realize how important he is not only as a business owner, but also as a colleague — or a servant-leader.

Greenleaf’s servant leadership theory states that an effective leader must be relevant, trustworthy, and capable of self-directing. An “I serve” mentality is the foundation of servant leadership – caring for employees first, personal ambition second.

Characteristics of a servant leader

First, servant leaders are always ready to serve and lead. These leaders understand that happy employees are more productive and less likely to look for work elsewhere. So, the question is – how can leaders avoid alienating employees and let them know they are trusted and valued members of the entire company?

Employees feel grateful when leaders are more willing to help employees succeed and grow within the organization. Too often, management is more concerned with profits and telling employees what to do than making employees feel like they are valued members of the team (which they are!).

Other characteristics of the servant leadership style include humble managers who make decisions (even difficult ones) in an ethical and fair manner. This leader is compassionate and understanding — but doesn’t risk making the wrong decision.

Servant leadership leads by example. We’ve all seen TV versions of coaches or other leaders telling their hardworking subordinates that they won’t be asked to do anything the coach wouldn’t want to do on their own. This is servant leadership in action.

However, for servant leadership to be effective, the leader must be trustworthy and not spread falsehood or embellishment. Servant leaders must be able to navigate complex business situations while being firmly rooted in the day-to-day operations of their employees.

In short, servant leaders constantly work with their employees to solve problems together, get through difficult times, and stand by their employees’ side (in principle and in action).

servant leadership

what is the benefit?

Servant leaders do not give up company goals for the benefit of their employees. The two go hand in hand. What’s good for employee morale and motivation should also be good for the business. When leaders focus on keeping employees engaged and satisfied, they should improve job performance. It will even foster collaboration and innovation that saves time and labor and increases profits.

Additionally, companies that promote a culture of servant leadership may experience reduced turnover. Disengaged employees are more likely to slack off, miss work or fail to meet expectations. And, when workers truly feel unappreciated, with no room to grow, and without management support, they are often motivated to leave and find greener pastures.

However, servant leaders are wary of burnout and failure to achieve company goals. A good servant leader must still effectively delegate tasks and should still be able to achieve company goals. If this type of leader is perceived as weak, it can have the opposite effect. This is a group of employees who may think that the workplace is for others, external or personal goals, not for the good of the company.


Author Daniel Hurt.
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