The first time I heard about Servant Leadership was back in 1991, when I was a business student at the York University in Toronto, Canada. At the time , I really didn’t pay much attention to the meaning of it, as I just thought it was something that leaders in organizations do and that was necessary for them to be successful.
When I started my career however, it become blatantly obvious to me that servant leadership really didn’t exist. Many leaders back then and today are still very much of the “me” attitude and the “we” takes a back seat. Leadership, let alone servant leadership was back then and in many cases today partially non-existent.
As the world of work and the world at large is rapidly changing and evolving, never before in our history has servant leadership been needed. Our society has lost faith in our CEO’s and political leaders and the divide between workers and the leaders that are supposed to lead them has never been so great. If organizations and nations are going to not only survive, but grow, then servant leadership must be at the forefront of their mission statements. The leaders are in place to serve their customers , workers and the people they represent and not the other way around.
What does servant leadership mean?
A servant-leader is a person who is concerned about the growth and well-being of their workers. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform to their highest capabilities. When leaders can practice this, they create a motivated, loyal and dedicated workforce that will ensure the organization thrives.
Steps organizations can take to create a servant leadership culture:
Managers and CEO’s alike can take small steps in developing a servant leadership culture that doesn’t mean a dramatic change or disruption to the current state. Managers can give more decision making power to employees and allow them to make decisions independently. These would be decisions that empower their workers, yet would have very little negative impact on the structural well-being of the organization, if something was to go wrong, but would have a positive impact on employees morale if successful. CEO’s can also give their Senior Leadership more power in making key strategic decisions as a collective group. These would also be decisions that empower the Senior Leadership, yet would have a moderate negative impact on the structural well-being of the organization, if something was to go wrong, but would have a positive impact on Senior Leaderships morale if successful.
Create a Servant Leadership culture in your organization today and watch your employees thrive and your organization become more profitable and successful. Slight changes in leadership philosophy, can have a huge impact on the success or failure of an organization.
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Thank you for reading my post.
Paul is President and CEO of One World Consulting Group, LLC. Paul is a career coach, recruiter, business developer and sales strategist who serves individuals and companies from around the world.