You’ll notice I’m talking a lot about servant leadership recently, and it’s because it is a topic I’m very passionate about.
Servant leaders are everywhere among us. They are among our public figures and politicians, as well as corporations and brands we love.
The largest group of servant leaders in our country is the military. Their whole existence is centered around the service of others and always putting others’ needs before their own.
Imagine if more business leaders took the same approach in their organization. What if all executives, managers, and leaders cared more about the wellbeing of their employees than their own singular success?
The impact would be monumental. Employees would be more engaged, accountable and enthusiastic about their work. Not to mention they would have improve results and committed to a shared vision.
Servant leadership encourages employees to reach and exceed their fullest potential, through trainings, support, mentorship, autonomy and many other ways.
However, it’s not just the tools and opportunities servant leaders give their employees that make them so successful; it’s also the way they lead.
Servant leadership is an art and commitment. It takes a certain kind of leader, who is selfless, devoted and passionate about their team and organization.
Here’s how you can put others before yourself and lead with a servant’s heart and mind:
1. Don’t restrict your service.
Servant leaders are never “above it.” Just because you are a leader, doesn’t mean you are better than your team members or “too good” for certain work.
This mentality creates distance between teams and their leader and can be offensive to employees. Real servant leaders aren’t afraid to tackle the grunt work.
2. Put the wellbeing of your team above the bottom line.
Your team should always come first.
When you show your team you care, you don’t have to worry about loyalty or turnover — team members are happy and glad to be part of the organization. When your employees are taken care of, they will take care of the rest, like your customers.
Leaders can brainstorm ways to show team members they care, based on what motivates employees.
3. Be mindful and aware of yourself.
Servant leaders can look into themselves and see their pain points, opportunities, and strengths. They can also recognize how their behaviors and interactions impact others.
Part of being a servant leader is awareness, not just for others but also for yourself. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Are you willing to admit when you’re wrong?
Servant leaders must be experts at navigating and managing their emotions. Emotional instability is very off putting to employees and will not instill confidence in your abilities as a leader.
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