Servant leaders give more of themselves not because they have to, but because they want to.
—Jeffrey Hayzlett

Are you familiar with the term Servant Leadership?  If yes, what does the term mean to you?

In 1970, Robert K. Greenleaf, coined the phrase and wrote about it in his essay: “Essentials of Servant Leadership”.  Greenleaf’s position is that the servant-first leader ensures that other people’s highest priority needs are being served, and that servant leadership is about helping others grow.

Former president of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, Larry C. Spears, states that the 10 most important characteristics of servant leaders are:

  1. Listening
  2. Empathy
  3. Healing
  4. Awareness
  5. Persuasion
  6. Conceptualization
  7. Foresight
  8. Stewardship
  9. Commitment to the growth of people
  10. Building community

Jeffrey Hayzlett, author, speaker, and TV and radio host shares another Servant Leadership definition: a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. He also shares the following 4 steps for developing into a better servant leader:

  1. Encourage diversity of thought
  2. Create a culture of trust
  3. Have an unselfish mindset
  4. Foster leadership in others

Despite the definition differences, the concepts remain the same – to help others. As a leader, are you helping individuals grow and thrive in their skills and abilities?

Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader’s main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations. –Wikipedia