Servant Leader, what is it?
There are several types of Leadership. But this one is my absolute favorite and I want to share with you why.
Basically, a Servant Leader is a leadership style that puts the well-being of others first, the common good of the team ahead of you.
It can be a style that comes naturally, but in most cases, it’s something that is worked on and evolved, like everything else in life. It ends up being a way of serving others and ensuring that everyone has the necessary tools and environment to surpass themselves.
5 Pillars of this Style
Strong sense of direction
That’s where we’re going and together we’ll get there!
The servant-leader helps each element and the team as a whole, to get there. How? Listening, providing training opportunities, and with frequent feedback. This feedback is always bilateral. Not only do you share how the other is doing, but also ask for insights on how you can help in this evolution and how you could do more.
What is our purpose; What is success in the company; What values do we govern ourselves by?
Sharing these 3 points, servant leaders allow their team to visualize what it is, in practice, to achieve success by living by the same values and purpose to get there. Keeping everyone’s vision aligned and ensuring they move forward in unison. Inspiring teams to reach their maximum potential and managing everyone’s expectations along the way are characteristics of these leaders.
Breaking with the Traditional Hierarchy
We are all part of the decision-making process and consequent accountability.
Regardless of the leadership at the top (CEO) and the goals that person or set of people has for the company, the focus should be on people and customers. Without providing something (service/product) that customers want/need and without ensuring that the company’s elements work towards satisfying that need, there is no way to be successful. In addition, anyone can have a constructive leadership posture that inspires others and allows for the identification of future leaders without a feeling of fear that the position will be “stolen”. Preventing orders from only coming from above means allowing everyone to participate in decision making and allowing their knowledge and experience to be effectively valued in the company, also sharing responsibility among all.
Did someone do something good? Stop and praise!
The Servant Leader focuses on valuing the elements of your team and the company. A boss focuses on his Ego and wants all successes to be attributed to him. If anything goes wrong, bosses appear to criticize an issue orders, disappearing after that. In leadership, this reality is replaced by appreciation and when things go wrong, the leader knows in advance because he has followed the whole process up to that point. Besides, when things are going well, that’s when the leader shows up the most to praise. Through praise, they manage to put it in a spotlight postures that are valued and that will be more easily repeated. How are compliments more effective? When specific cases are used. That is, as soon as you see someone on the team doing something right, don’t let a month go by to say that. Praise the moment and make a point of highlighting how grateful you are for that attitude that benefits the entire team. Encourage that attitude to be maintained and emphasize that you trust her to continue doing the right thing and that she has your full support. That is: Praise in the moment + gratitude + trust + support = success 😊
I will launch an article focused on this theme.
Guiding is better than criticizing
Make mistakes fast and well.
It is normal to make mistakes. We all do. There is no one who is perfect and always does everything right. This is a utopia and the sooner the error is accepted as normal and part of the process, the sooner it is possible to find alternatives. I always tell my teams that only those who do nothing do not make mistakes. That it is normal to make mistakes and that they are not afraid to make mistakes. Always ask yourself “what is the worst that can happen?”. As much as there is support from the leader, it is important that team members are given autonomy to experiment for themselves and learn along the way. A mistake is never something thrown away but an opportunity for learning and growth. It is a way of knowing that the path is not that way after all and that it is equally important to discover the right path. If more assertive feedback is needed, make a point of talking to that person in private. And adjust your speech to that person’s experience. It is normal for more mistakes to be made at an early stage. So make it clear that you don’t have unrealistic expectations of that person so that they don’t live with an additional weight on their shoulders. A fundamental point is to criticize the behavior/attitude, never the person. Guidance involves reviewing the situation and helping to find the solution or alternative path; never bringing the person down. And together realize what the teachings were and how to do it next time. It is equally important to always leave a vote of confidence and end the conversation on a positive note. It is normal for more mistakes to be made at an early stage. So make it clear that you don’t have unrealistic expectations of that person so that they don’t live with an additional weight on their shoulders. A fundamental point is to criticize the behavior/attitude, never the person. Guidance involves reviewing the situation and helping to find the solution or alternative path; never bringing the person down. And together realize what the teachings were and how to do it next time. It is equally important to always leave a vote of confidence and end the conversation on a positive note.
There are several types of leadership and a quick search on our friend Google is enough to realize that the list is endless. Fundamentally, it is important to follow your intuition and if you put the good of your team members first, it is guaranteed that the results will eventually emerge and true relationships of trust, respect and mutual help will be cultivated.
It helps to frequently ask yourself the question “am I helping my team go further?” if the answer is yes, continue. If not… it is advisable to rethink the strategy and readjust. Personally, it’s my favorite leadership style and I try to apply it every day.
And the truth is that we are always learning, testing, readjusting, learning, testing, readjusting…. so don’t ever stop learning and evolving.
Have a wonderful day,
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