Are you a Servant Leader?  Do you want to be considered a Servant Leader? What is a Servant Leader?

 A Servant Leader is a person who has a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. The servant-leader is servant first.  According to Robert Greenleaf of the Center for Servant Leadership, the servant leader's goal is to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built.

There is a difference between a traditional leader and a servant leader. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” The servant leader is usually a visionary that achieves authority rather than power.

Someone who has the traits of empathy, good listening skills, stewardship and a commitment to growth of others is a true servant leader. To put it bluntly, a servant leader is more concerned about others rather than himself or herself.

Most of us are leaders in some way.  This can be in your home, place of work, or in your relationships. When you think about how you relate in all three of these situations, would you classify yourself as a servant leader?  All of us more times than not, want things to be our way, feel that our ideas are the best and also want recognition and power. What gets in the way of being a servant leader is when these things concerning how we feel are the utmost reasons why we become or want to become leaders. 

I like to use a combined scenario to illustrate my point.  You are the head of an organization or a family. (the leader) You have a particular vision or goal that you feel will serve your organization or family to reach this goal. You have power. However, along the way you see that your organization or family is not assisting you in reaching that goal.  You are mystified as to why they are not following you.  They tell you that you are not serving them, you have been caught up in serving yourself.  You are focusing on what you want and have forgotten the major description of a servant leader.  To serve others!

This article is to assist you in whatever leadership role you are in and your leadership style. Do you want to be a servant leader? Here is a list of ten principles of servant leadership according to Robert Greenleaf.

Listening, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Persuasion, Conceptualization, Foresight, Stewardship, Building Community, and the most important principle for me Commitment to the Growth of People.

Dr Janice Hooker Fortman

Braveheart Visionary Author

Published October 21, 2014 - Braveheart Digital Magazine