Leadership is a fascinating subject that influences every aspect of the human experience. We all can identify good leaders, bad leaders, and people in between. Over the next few months, I will be focusing on the impact of leadership, leadership styles, and why leadership is so important in our homes, organizations, schools, churches, and the community. In a previous blog post, I asked if you were a ruler, teacher, or hero when identifying your influence as a leader. Today, I begin this conversation talking about Servant Leadership. Robert Greenleaf, coined the phrase, Servant Leadership based on a philosophy that a leader is called to serve first. Servant leaders place the needs of their followers first, over their own self-interests. They are also concerned with the development of their followers.
For the servant leader, the leader is a servant first, and that attitude of service becomes the secret to their greatness. Servant leadership can be used effectively in so many diverse areas because the leader empowers their followers to develop to their full capacities. I think Winston Churchill successfully, introduced the spirt of servant leadership when he said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.
Here are 10 characteristics in Robert Greenleaf’s writings that are central to servant leadership
1. Listening – Communicate by listening and acknowledge the point of view of followers
2. Empathy – Understand what followers are thinking and feeling
3. Healing – Care about and help to heal your followers
4. Awareness – Be attentive and responsive to their surroundings
5. Persuasion – Be able to convince others to change, by using kind nonjudgmental arguments
6. Conceptualization – See the big picture in your organization, church, home or school. This will allow you to visualize and provide direction solving complex issues
7. Foresight – Anticipate the future and the consequences of your behavior
8. Stewardship – Take responsibility for your role when managing people considering the greater good of society
9. Commitment – Commit yourself to helping followers grow personally and professionally
10. The building of a community – Build communities in organizations, churches, schools, and homes, by making people feel safe and connected, while still being able to express their own unique individuality.
As you can see servant leadership is a philosophy associated to a particular style of leadership. Every leader has to determine their style of leadership. As you evaluate your servant leadership potential, know that servant leadership works best when leaders are interested in helping others. The impact of these efforts cannot be viewed as a short-term fix. The results of true servant leadership is recognized over the long haul, but produces a lifetime and meaningful impact for the leader and those that follow.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall
Breakthrough and Build Your Dreams 4-week Virtual Workshop, February 24th – March 17th
Join Dr. Regina Banks-Hall, for a 4-week virtual workshop where she provides solutions so you can breakthrough issues, challenges, negativity, and fear and build your dreams. You will gain clarity and insight as it relates to your vision. This virtual workshop begins on February 24th, and will meet for 4 weeks. The cost includes the book and workbook. It’s time to move forward. To learn more about the workshop, click on the link below.