When you hear the term “servant leadership,” what comes to mind? We hear that term so much these days that I am not sure everyone knows exactly what it means.
To better understand servant leadership, I want to review the concept of positional vs personal leadership.
In my last blog, I talked about the two kinds of power: positional power and personal power. Position power is power that comes only from the authority established by the position. Used unwisely, positional power tends to be more driving, not guiding. Personal power, however, is using your social and leadership skills to guide your team members to success for themselves, yourself, and the company.
Used together, positional power and personal power creates the best of both worlds. When you insert servant leadership into the mix, that’s power on steroids!
Now, let’s explore a little bit more about servant leadership. Servant leadership empowers your team and gets both you as the leader and the team members focused on the team goals. It also boosts performance so that each team member can achieve his or her very best. Keep in mind, what “best” looks like will be different for each individual and a quality leader recognizes that and sets the tone for each person to discover his or her own potential.
Another aspect of servant leadership is inspiring others to become leaders themselves. Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in charge of something. Leadership can even be taking the initiative to encourage your fellow team mates. A servant leader sets the tone for the rest of the team to explore their own brand of leadership.
Over the years, I’ve seen how true servant leaders have the same qualities no matter the industry. Some of these I’ve already touched on, but they are worth looking at from the big picture perspective. I’ve also linked to a few previous blogs that expound on these ideas.
9 Qualities of a Servant Leader
- Encourages the team to greatness, both as individuals and as a team.
- Realizes that a good leader is a great salesperson who can “sell” their ideas to the team and bring them on board.
- Helps the team members understand the where and the why of each goal.
- Values the opinion of each team member.
- Cultivates a level of trust by participating as a part of team.
- Actively encourages each team member to develop their own form of leadership.
- Always thinks in the terms of long-term achievement.
- Acts with humility.
- Communicates effectively with each team member.
As you look at your own leadership skills, are you a servant leader? Learning those skills and gaining these nine qualities will help you be a successful leader in life and business.