Many people tend to believe that great leaders are those leaders who are charismatic, have a commanding presence, have an elite education background and are visionary. These are some of the qualities of a great leader. But you will be surprised by the fact that a majority of leaders in high-performing companies have one thing in common, they are all fond of servant leadership.
Servant leadership is a strong leadership style that will not only transform and take your business to an incredible level but also keep your business ahead of your competition. However, to understand how servant leadership impacts your business’s bottom line, it is imperative to answer the following questions:
- Who is a servant leader?
- What is servant leadership?
- What are the principles of servant leadership?
What Is Servant Leadership?
The idea of servant leadership dates back to at least two thousand years. But it was Robert K. Greenleaf who invented the phrases servant leadership and servant-leader. At face value, one might think that being a servant leader implies literally assuming the role of a servant for the employees. Servant leadership is not about the leader welcoming employees to the office every day or dropping by during lunch breaks to see if the employees need anything.
Servant leadership is a balance between servant and leader. In other words, a servant leader focuses on serving others rather than being servile. It entails the need to help others first including the community, subordinates, and customers.
5 Principles of Servant Leadership
The servant leadership concept has been expressed in various ways and applied in numerous contexts. However, what are the characteristics of a servant leader? What fundamental beliefs do all servant leaders share? What practices do they engage in that make them qualify to be servant leaders? Below are the top 5 principles of the servant leader.
Years of study on some of the most prestigious companies on the globe indicated that employee engagement and performance drastically improved when the managers listened more than they spoke. When leaders are good listeners, they can understand their employees better and help them improve and accomplish company goals and objectives.
Managers should take their time to truly listen and reflect on what they hear from their subordinates and clients to boost business performance. Servant leaders should always aim to understand the will of the group as well as their inner voice.
2. Leading by Example
More often than not, leaders tend to sit back and give out instructions to their employees. Unfortunately, when this is the case, employees can never relate to the management. Leading by example means that the leader should be people-centric.
Value service to others and believes that they are not so different from regular employees. This is because they never forget what it was like to be a line employee. Therefore, how a leader behaves will adversely affect the performance of the business. For example, spending time with employees on the front lines motivates them hence boosting business.
3. Values Diversity
A servant leader encourages, values and recognizes everyone’s opinions and contributions. In a servant-led business, managers believe that every employee should be respected and appreciated when they perform meaningful work. A servant leader never takes credit for the work or ideas generated by subordinates. Instead, he or she should seek different opinions from others and develop new leaders.
Diversity facilitates the replication factor. The replication factor is the act providing promising employees with opportunities for growth and teaching them to lead. When a leader values diverse opinions, it means that they are not always leading. Instead, they give others the opportunities to lead.
4. Humble and Empathetic
No matter how much a leader earns or has achieved, team members are likely to be more productive if the leader embodies qualities such as humbleness and empathy that promote a sense of trust. Being humble just means being free of ego and not always trying to be the smartest person in the room.
A servant leader empathizes with employees. Studies indicate that a firm’s productivity increases when employees are recognized for their unique attributes.
A servant leader always opts to rely on persuasion, rather than managerial authority. Persuasion entails seeking to convince employees rather than issues commands. This particular principle paints the clearest picture of how servant leadership is effective in boosting businesses.
How Servant Leadership Directly Boosts Your Business
1. Builds Confidence
Servant leaders facilitate employee confidence in any organization. Servant leadership identifies and corrects the group’s weaknesses and affirms the potential and strength of employees.
When this is the case, employees become more confident generating a positive attitude towards leaders and work. A confident workforce directly correlates to improved business.
2. Improved Working Environment
Servant leadership not only fosters trust but also increases organizational effectiveness in a firm. By exercising stewardship, these leaders take responsibility for all actions performed by the organization.
Therefore, employees feel challenged as well as a sense of responsibility towards their leader. Consequently, they become more productive hence boosting the business.
3. New Ideas
Servant leaders have a foresight. This means that they:
- Learn from the past;
- Understand present realities;
- Consider future changes;
- Forge new ideas to take the business to the next level.
Servant leadership embraces diversity and develops leaders hence bringing fresh ideas into the firm. New and unique ideas help the company improve.
Attitude towards work is fundamental since what staff and leaders think and feel drives their performance. Servant leadership aims at creating a fair and interactive work environment to enable high performance. When a business starts to embrace the servant leadership concept, it sets the stage for improving the company and building a firm that is sustainable and will remain competitive for a long time.
The business will not only be known for its impartial leaders but also for its outstanding performance. Implementing servant leadership can be vital in acquiring top-notch employees who can help make the business better than ever before. Do you to see a turnaround in your profits? Maybe it’s time you embraced servant leadership.