Most of us would describe our best boss with words like strategic, team-oriented, supportive. We value leaders who want us to be successful. That post-industrial revolution concept was developed in the 1970’s when Robert Greenleaf introduced the idea of servant leadership. Several clients recently expressed an interest in the tenets of servant leaders, which are:
1. Listening: A critical component of communication is listening for understanding and clarity. A servant leader listens to what is said and what is left unsaid.
2. Empathy: A servant leader tries to see things from another person’s viewpoint.
3. Healing: Servant leaders ensure they are healthy emotionally, spiritually and physically and provide opportunities for others to be healthy.
4. Awareness: According to Greenleaf, “Awareness … is a disturber and an awakener.” A servant leader is attuned to both internal and external cues.
5. Persuasion: Unlike a traditional authoritarian, a servant leader relies on persuasion rather than coercion.
6. Conceptualization: Servant leaders are able to see the big picture.
7. Foresight: Learning from the past and understanding the present enables the servant leader to anticipate probable outcomes.
8. Stewardship: Servant leaders are stewards of their organizations as part of a larger society.
9. Commitment to the growth of people: A servant leader takes responsibility for encouraging the personal and professional growth of the people in his or her organization.
10.Building community: Servant leaders reach beyond a hierarchical company structure to offer a sense of community to those who want to be a part of something greater than themselves.
Did you identify any attributes you would like to develop further? If so, let’s talk. You can read more: Practicing Servant Leadership: Succeeding Through Trust, Bravery and Forgiveness, Larry C. Spears and Michele Lawrence editors, 2004, Jossey-Bass.