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The Key Principles of Servant Leadership

By Numly - Leadership Coaching Group
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Today’s leaders must be ready for a different workforce with new expectations in terms of mentality, work culture, and management requirements. The right leadership has the desired effects on the workforce, the organization as a whole, and the goals set forth as the fundamental building blocks towards success.

The idea of servant leadership, which emerged 50 years ago, inspired everyone to focus their efforts on giving rather than taking within a team and among coworkers. This philosophy has been studied and used for a very long time to produce excellent results, whether they are objective or subjective. 

A study found that servant leadership has a greater than 80% effect on job satisfaction, demonstrating how significant this effect is.

How does one aspect of leadership have a significant effect on the functioning of employees as a whole?

The fundamental principles of servant leadership, which benefit employees and the workplace on both a macro and micro level, provide the solution.

7 Principles of Servant Leadership

  • Empathy

The foundation of servant leadership is empathy, which has long been hailed as the most important factor in creating an employee-driven workforce. When it comes to an empathy-driven style of leadership, there is no room for controlling behavior and traits, and it furthermore results in a synergistic model of leadership. Servant leadership is all about putting the needs of your team first, and this is only possible when leaders have an empathic mindset.

Also read: Coaching Strategies of Leaders whilst Getting the Work Done and Ensuring the Well-Being of Their Teams

  • Stewardship

Stewardship is one of the fundamental principles of servant leadership. Developing and inspiring others to work toward a common objective is the core attribute of stewardship. This may be for team members or other leaders. The purpose of this fundamental quality or tenet is to enable others to succeed while still achieving the organization’s overarching goal. Stewardship in the context of servant leadership is solely concerned with meeting the needs of others and carrying the torch in trying circumstances.

  • Humility

Leaders who put servant leadership into practice and adhere to its principles are aware that humility is one of its fundamental principles. There is no I, me, or myself in leaders when it comes to this style of leading people; rather, the “You” attitude is essential to servant leadership. These leaders are even prone to balancing their own and others’ mental and emotional health as well as their overall well-being in order to improve teamwork and effort.

Also read: When Mental Health is a Business Imperative, What Role can Managers Play?

  • Ethics

An ethical leader is all that a company and team need. There can be ethical dilemmas all the time in front of a leader, but not falling into the trap of continuous ethical lapses is all a servant leader needs and expects. Leaders should always communicate ethically and act ethically because followers learn from examples. This helps establish the standard for behavior among others.

  • Foresight

Servant leaders possess the power of great foresight and are visionaries. Apart from coming up with brilliant ideas, this is more about creating a roadmap for effectively achieving what is being thought of that fits the ideal objective of the organization. A servant leader has the capacity to possess in-depth knowledge that is supported by quantitative data for persuasive opinions and easy communication. In order to better communicate an idea, it is equally important to understand historical events and ideas.

  • Active listening

The three A’s of active listening are attitude, attention, and adjustment, according to a report by Centenary University. Active listeners are always trusted by their subordinates. One can easily tell when someone is only making a half-hearted effort to listen to others, which fosters distrust and absenteeism at work. A servant leader is able to hear and remember the advice given by everyone at work, developing and establishing themselves as a resource to turn to in times of need.

Also read: Non-negotiable Leadership Habits for Leaders Who Want to Stay Relevant

  • Growth mindset

Servant leadership, as well as other leadership philosophies, have always emphasized the importance of a growth mindset. A leader who fosters a growth mindset for their team or organization qualifies as a true servant leader. Growing others and giving them the responsibility of leading important aspects is also a part of a growth mindset, which frees up time to do something more creative like planning the career paths of others. Because a leader can never be in charge of everything, developing others to take on responsibility is essential.

Benefits of servant leadership

  • High Productivity: Since they foster a strong loop of mutual confidence and trust, servant leaders frequently experience high productivity from their teams.
  • Lower attrition: More than 50% of workers quit their jobs due to poor managers. Empathetic leaders have lower attrition and higher retention rates than those who lack these traits.
  • Better Coordination: Active listening and empathetic practice are the foundations of servant leadership. Therefore, compared to other leaders or managers, these leaders benefit from better coordination and teamwork.
  • Loyal Employees: Employees prefer to work for and with effective managers and leaders. The values of servant leadership not only enhance team dynamics and workplace morale but also win over employees’ loyalty. 

Employee-centric and servant leadership are the key to the future of the workplace and of organizations. Organizations need to put all of their efforts into equipping their leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge of what it takes to be a good leader. 

Our 60-day pilot program provides the people managers in organizations an opportunity to improve their leadership skills to become Better Leaders and build Better Teams.

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