There are many models or styles of leadership, including servant leadership. Servant leadership is meant to replace command and control models of leadership and to be more focused on the needs of others. Servant leaders work behind the scenes providing support and stability, knocking down any barriers prohibiting success of their team.
A servant leader understands that leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.
Here are seven qualities of a servant leader:
1. Influences Instead of Dictates
a. Is all about persuading, not dictating.
b. Does not bully, use fear tactics, or position to get things done.
c. Communicates with candor and transparency.
d. Values everyone’s contribution and seeks out opinions.
2. Acts with Humility (doesn’t have an ego)
a. Doesn’t wear a title as a way to show who’s in charge, doesn’t think he/she’s better than everyone else, and acts in a way to care for others.
b. Sets an example of service, understands that it is not about the leader, but about others.
c. Surrounds themselves with people that are better than they are, works to make them successful, and gives them all the credit for success.
d. Accepts the blame when something goes wrong.
e. Is not emotional; does not react on emotion.
a. Thinks about the next generation, the next leader, the next opportunity.
b. Tries to understand what it’s like to walk a mile in other’s shoes.
5. Committed to People
a. Views people as either “green and growing” or “ripe and dying”.
b. Understands that developing leaders takes commitment and investment.
c. Acts as a mentor to develop other leaders.
d. Provides resources and tools that enable success.
a. Says “let’s go do this” vs “you get it done”.
7. Helps Others with Life Issues
a. Cares about their team members and invests in their lives.
Servant leaders lead by example, cultivating trust within an organization. They establish a culture of thinking, acting like owners, thereby driving results. People will run through walls for a true servant leader.
I am proud to work for an organization that embraces and exemplifies servant leadership. With that said, you can be a servant leader in any organization. It starts with you! Commit to this model of leadership and your organization and team will be positively impacted.
*Vice President, Walmart Consumer Brands – Tyson Foods
*Title and company of the author reflect their position at the time article was written.
The opinions expressed here by guest bloggers are their own, not necessarily those of Stout Executive Search.