Servant Leadership – What You Need To Know
Although, the modern world got the phrase Servant Leadership from Robert Greenleaf in 1970, this trait of leadership is not that recent. The real origin of it dates back several hundred years, and would lead you to Chanakya, Lao Tzu, and Jesus.
A Developed Form of Transformational Leadership
If you want to know about servant leadership, it is good to have an understanding about transformational leadership. Because transformational leadership is the base for servant leadership.
“Good leaders must first become good servants.” – Robert Greenleaf
Transformational leadership – The 4 I’s:
- Intellectual stimulation
- Inspirational motivation
- Individualized consideration
- Idealized influence
These are essential to Transformational Leadership. However, you should keep one thing in mind – you can’t just memorize these aspects and mimic them to be a great leader. That won’t work. The leader must really embody them, not simply acquires these traits to fool others.
It is all about the mentality “to serve” rather than “to lead”. When the leader gets into servant leadership he sheds the bossy arrogance and starts feeling the desire to serve. This results in more productivity and hence better results.
According to report by The School of Leadership Studies at Regent University in 2005, servant leadership is about listening, empathy, awareness, healing, persuasion, commitment for the growth of people, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, and building community.
An interesting fact is that you can see the four fundamentals of transformative leadership are already included in it. Hence, transformational leadership will help one to establish needed traits for servant leadership.
Some Famous Supporters of Servant Leadership
The modern world saw some renewed people supporting servant leadership. People like Stephen Covey, Margaret Wheatley, Larry Spears, Kent Keith, and Ken Blanchard, among others, advanced the idea of it.
Robert Greenleaf who, as mentioned earlier, was the first in the modern business leadership circles to talk about the idea of servant leadership. His research shows that organizations that really adapt this ideology can really change the world. He said that the idea of everyone helping each other whether strong or weak is vital for success, and if applied to organizations can make a huge difference. Servant leadership works in a way that it naturally raises the level of productivity because the people stop thinking of the job as tedious and boring—and that’s where the idea of servant leadership truly wins.