There are many different styles of leadership, including autocratic, democratic, strategic, transformational, laissez-faire, transactional, and, servant leadership. “How can a leader be a servant?” you ask. Well, here’s how, and why.
Today, besides financial freedom, people seek a sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment from their work. Here’s where the servant leader steps in. Servant leaders exist to lead by serving others. A true servant leader will put the needs of others ahead of their own for the larger good.
Servant leadership examples include some of history’s most iconic figures, including Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela. The Dalai Lama and Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma, are a few of the more popular servant leaders today. Our founder Vijay Eswaran is a proponent of servant leadership, and this is reflected in QNET’s culture too.
Today, more and more companies are starting to embrace this style as this helps meet professional goals by inspiring, motivating, and guiding team members. Adopting this style of leadership can prove beneficial as it’s shown to boost productivity, morale, and creativity, and combat attrition.
Being a true servant leader is putting the needs of others ahead of your own in service to a larger purpose. A servant leader does this by being:
Humble and caring
Being down-to-earth is a critical part of being a servant leader. A servant leader always views and treats people as equals. Humility wins the servant leader the trust of employees.
Servant leaders genuinely care for the well-being of their team members both in and out of the office. Through empathy, they tune into the feelings and emotions of the team to pick up any signs of distress and do everything they can to help out. In turn, they inspire a great deal of loyalty among their team while boosting their morale and productivity.
A good listener
Through effective listening, a servant leader can accurately read the room and pick up non-verbal cues from body language, tone, and facial expressions. This enables them to identify any underlying tension or unspoken issues and nip them in the bud. After all, listening is half the battle in high-quality relationships.
The servant leader exhibits high levels of awareness, especially in regards to their strengths and weaknesses and also of those around them. In situations where they are uncertain of what course of action to take, instead of acting on their ego they seek advice. Doing so minimises the risk of errors and personal biases in decisions.
Committed to others’ growth
The servant leader takes the initiative to encourage learning among employees. They even counsel and mentor employees to help them reach their career goals. They aren’t insecure about the growth of their employees and are also open to being surpassed by them. Eventually, they create highly skilled employees and teams, increasing the company’s productivity and profitability.
Open to diverse opinions
A servant leader always keeps an open mind and values everyone’s input. Being open-minded also ensures that team members share their ideas wholeheartedly and don’t hold back from fear of ridicule or rejection. This allows them to gain new perspectives and insights, promoting greater innovation and creativity.
The popularity of servant leadership is on the rise, and with good reason. When you serve your people and put their interests first, they are inspired to bring their best to work every single day.