10 Unique Characteristics of a Servant Leader
In 1990, Robert K. Greenfield redefined the way we think about management. His idea was dubbed “servant-leadership” that flips the traditional model of management, thinking and organizational structure completely upside down.
The following is a list of 10 qualities that servant-leaders posses:
Servant-leaders have a deep commitment to listening intently to others. Whether it's verbal or non-verbal a servant-leader seeks to identify the will of a group and help clarify that will.
One of the greatest strengths of servant-leadership is the potential to heal oneself and other. Many people have broken spirits and have suffered from a variety of emotional hurts. Although this is part of human beings, servant-leaders recognize that they have an opportunity to “help make whole ” those whom they have come in contact with.
General awareness and especially self- awareness strengthens the servant -leader. Awareness also aids one in understanding issues involving ethics and values. It allows the servant -leader to be able to view most situations from more integrated, holistic position.
A servant-leader strives to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirits. One assumes the good intentions of co-workers and does not reject them as people even if one finds it necessary to refuse to accept their behavior and performance.
Peter Block has defined stewardship as “holding something in trust of another”. CEOs, staffs and trustees all play a significant role in holding their institutions in trust of another greater good society. Servant -leadership like stewardship, assumes first and foremost a commitment to serving the needs of others. It also emphasizes the use of openness and persuasion rather than control.
They have the primary reliance on persuasion rather than potential authority in making decisions within an organization. The servant -leader seeks to convince others rather than coerce compliance.
Foresight is a characteristic that enables the servant -leader to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present and the likely consequence of a decision for the future. It is also deeply rooted within the intuitive mind.
Servant -leaders seek to nurture their abilities to “dream great dreams”. The ability to look as a problem or an organization from a conceptualizing perspective means that one must think beyond day -to -day realities. Servant -leaders are called to seek a delicate balance between conceptual thinking and a day-to-day focused approach.
9. Commitment to The Growth of People
Servant -leaders believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond contributions as workers. As a result, the servant -leader is deeply committed to the growth of each and every individual within the institution. The servant -leader recognizes the tremendous responsibility to do everything possible to nurture the growth of employees.
10. Building Community
The servant-leader senses that much has been lost in recent human history as a result of the shift from local communities to large institutions as the primary shaper of human lives. This awareness causes the servant -leader to seek to identify some means of building a community among those who work within a given institution.
Servant -leaders make a community or an institution a better place for everyone to grow.
And as Greenleaf said: “All that is needed to rebuild a community as a viable life form for large number of people is enough servant -leaders to show the way, not by mass movement, but by each servant leader demonstrating his or her own unlimited liability for a quite specific community “