How to be a Servant Leader
Who is a servant leader? What is a servant leader? Do you work for a servant leader? Are you a servant leader? Do you know how to become a servant leader?
Those are some thought-provoking questions. Often we hear politicians claim to be servant leaders. Whether they are right or not doesn’t invalidate the importance of humility and servant leadership in leadership. Servant leadership tends to go hand in hand with humility. In this article, we are going to list and discuss the importance of being humble and being a servant leader hence emphasizing on why humility and servant leadership is one of the most encouraged traits in leadership. But first, let’s understand what a servant leader is.
What is a Servant Leader?
The theory of leadership explains that becoming a servant and serving your employees leads to greater success than being the boss and having the employees serve you. This is because of the power and influence wielded by leaders – they run and make rules for the business. With servant leadership, the leader views all processes and protocols from the servant’s point of view hence get a clearer picture of what rules and changes to make.
Important to note though, servant leadership should be about the needs of your team, not their feelings. Don’t be afraid to make the right but unpopular decisions in your quest to be seen as a servant leader.
Servant leadership and humility
Leadership development training emphasizes humility just as much as servant leadership. The two traits go hand in hand and are almost indistinguishable. Generally, being a humble leader automatically makes one a servant leader and being a servant leader automatically makes one a humble leader.
The Importance of being a humble servant leader
Jim Collins, in his book ‘Good to Great,’ did research on the top 15 performing fortune 1000 companies and bottom 15 performing Fortune 1000 companies and observed that the best-performing companies had leaders who were humble, valued humility and encouraged humility among their employees. So what is the secret in humility and servant leadership that makes it improve the results in a company? We are going to list and explain some of the importance of humility and servant leadership in a company.
Your juniors see you and try to emulate you
Servant leadership helps motivate, inspire and train your juniors. It is more like a leadership development training for your juniors. When you humble yourself and work with your employees rather than supervise them, they tend to draw inspiration from you. Better still, you’ll do exactly what you want them to do. This also plays a subtle manipulation skill where a worker finds it hard to come up with an excuse since they saw you do exactly the same thing well. Workers will put in more effort putting into consideration that you have a hands-on understanding of what they do. In cases where you are way better than them at the job, you offer them a free training class on how they should go about it.
Its wholistic helps address the spiritual and economic needs of workers
The modern working environment is stressful. It is full of scandals, layoffs, competitive pressure and general uncertainty. Modern workers yearn for psychological stability and security. In their book, ‘The Search for Spirit in the Workplace,’ Lee and Zemke noted that there is a growing need for spiritual satisfaction among people.
A servant leader helps solve this issue due to their principle of being an inspiration to their workers. Strength and need to inspire makes a leader inspirational and strong hence providing a direct route to spiritual satisfaction to his/her workers. Stressfree workers ensure a better running business – from the internal processes to the helpdesk.
It is a crucial component of the Agile Manifesto
Simply put, the Agile Manifesto is part of the principles that provide a working platform to attain agility. The main objective of the Agile Manifesto is to enable a team to self-direct and self-organize. The Agile Manifesto is built on four values and 12 principles. Servant leadership is part of the four values. The component of the Agile Manifesto that is servant leadership states that Individuals and interactions should be valued over tools and processes. A servant leader interacts with their workers and shows value to them creating an environment where everything can go on well even when they are not around. This improves the agility of a business and is also key in executive leadership development of your top tier workers.
Humility and Servant leadership creates awareness to the leader
Interaction with workers at a personal level opens them up to you. It also makes you realize the problems they face and the necessary changes that could boost production and morale among the workers. You see every process first hand and don’t have to rely on third party information which might be biased or false. A leader who is aware of what is going on in their business comes up with better solutions and makes better improvement than that who isn’t.
Humility and servant leadership thrives persuasion rather than control
There are two natural reactions to control that humans make, they either defy or comply. However, the best way to get people to do something is to make them committed and engaged. Getting people involved and cultivating a culture of self-direction results in more motivated and happy workers. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people embark on the journey of self-actualization when they feel safe and secure. Being authoritarian makes your workers feel insecure and scared to build themselves hence the company. Using persuasion however makes them feel safe and secure which leads to them pursuing self-actualization – becoming better versions of themselves – which is good for the company.
Note – There is a difference between persuasion coercion. Be careful not to use subtle threats or being too overbearing in your persuasion because that amounts to coercion which is not servant leadership.
Servant leadership is an effective method of running a business or company. Servant leadership doesn’t only result in better results but also happier and fulfilled workers who will love and appreciate their job. This also trickles down to the customers. Hence you’re likely to have loyal customers.