An approach to leading in which leaders take responsibility for contributing to the well-being of people and community.
Servant leadership involves taking responsibility for actively contributing to the well-being of people and communities. It begins with a feeling of wanting to work for the benefit of others. A servant leader regards people's needs and identifies ways to help them to solve problems and promote personal development. Servant leaders focus on the well-being of others and on helping them improve their circumstances.
Characteristics of Servant Leadership
Larry C. Spears identified ten characteristics that are central to servant leadership:
Listening: A servant leader solicits information and engages in dialogue with followers to better understand their needs.
Empathy: Servant leaders identify with and show concern for the needs of followers. In this way they model respect.
Healing: A servant leader is sensitive to and supports the emotional health of others.
Awareness: Servant leaders exhibits self-knowledge of their own values, emotions, strengths, and weaknesses.
Persuasion: Servant leaders do not take advantage of their power and status by coercing compliance; they try to influence others through reason.
Conceptualization: A servant leader thinks beyond day-to-day realities to identify future possibilities.
Foresight: A servant leader understands intellectually as well as through intuition how the past, present, and future are connected and uses that knowledge to identify likely outcomes.
Stewardship: Servant leaders are mindful that they hold an organization's resource in trust for the greater good.
Commitment to the growth of people: A servant leader is responsible for nurturing others and for their learning and development.
Building community: A servant leader builds a sense of unity and cohesion among individuals so they can work together for common goals.