Leadership is defined as a state of offering skills that guide a team or an organization. A good leader steers their team in the right direction. The fate of a business, a company, or an organization lies in the hands of its leader or group of leaders. Therefore, understanding different leadership styles are very critical. The various leadership styles include servant leadership, autocratic leadership, democratic leadership, transformational leadership, and many others. Over time, the true definition of a good leader has been lost. There has been a perception that a good leader must be feared and be authoritative. In my opinion, excellent leader puts themselves in other people’s shoes. Good leaders are humble and always place the interest of others ahead of theirs. Leadership skills entail mastering the art of serving others, and that is who a servant leader is.
Servant leadership is a term that Robert K. Greenleaf invented in his essay, ‘A Servant as a Leader.’ He describes a servant leader as someone who instinctively serves before leading (Greenleaf 2021). The skills portrayed by such leaders bring out their personalities as generally selfless people. For some, leading means having as many material possessions as possible. Servant leaders focus on giving than receiving or taking. In his essay, Greenleaf states that servant leaders are “stewards of their organizations’ resources” (2021). The needs of the people they serve come first at all times and situations. This highlights a distinct characteristic of servant leadership that is not always portrayed by the other types of leaders. By offering their services to people directly below them, the goal of servant leaders is the best health, financial, professional, and intellectual status and needs of the people they serve (Tait 2020).
While others may portray servants as weak, leaders with servant leadership skills are bold and brave, on the contrary (Mike 2013). Being a servant entails inviting critiques and using them to strengthen their leadership. By employing servant leadership skills, such leaders prove they are willing to learn from others. They are ready to put aside their ego and strive to encourage autonomy amongst their co-workers and employees. This form of leadership is better than the other types since they purpose to serve their people, and the fruits of their service automatically follow. Serving the community is not at the expense of profit: it encourages profit. An organization led by servant leaders creates a platform for employees and co-workers to express themselves freely. As a result, workplaces potentially become non-toxic environments with motivated employees. Consequently, this encourages innovation that finally helps achieve the company’s mission and vision. Even though the primary goal of servant leaders is to create an impact on the lives of their associates and co-workers, Tarallo, in his article, states that the performance of companies led by such leaders is much better than other companies (2018).
In conclusion, a good leader serves, is humble and selfless. The main goal of a leader should be to deliver by empowering the people they do and those around them. Servant leaders possess these qualities and virtues; hence, to successfully meet the objectives of a group, team, or company, a good leader should master the art of servant leadership.
Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. “What Is Servant Leadership?” Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, 2021, www.greenleaf.org/what-is-servant-leadership/.
Mike, Thomas. “Servant Leadership… Be a REBEL with a CAUSE.” Innovation on Purpose, 22 Oct. 2013, innovation-on-purpose.com/2013/10/22/servant-leadership-is-not-about-being-nice-or-weak-it-is-being-a-rebel-with-a-cause/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2022.
Tait, Brian. “Council Post: Traditional Leadership vs. Servant Leadership.” Forbes, www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/03/11/traditional-leadership-vs-servant-leadership/?sh=1b565f15451e. Accessed 13 Sept. 2022.
Tarallo, Mark. “The Art of Servant Leadership.” SHRM, SHRM, 2018, www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/organizational-and-employee-development/pages/the-art-of-servant-leadership.aspx.