May I Help You? Servant Leadership in the Business World

Authored by Robert A. Trezza in Business Management 
Published on 03-10-2009

Lets start with the definition of servant leadership. Servant leadership is a method of leadership growth that was developed by Robert Greenleaf in the late 70’s. It was designed to have the group leader assist those that they lead while they too take part in the business. Being a leader will not go to their head with this method, as the leader is humbled by work as well. The servant leader does not always have to physically work, but must find ways to meet their fellow peer’s needs.

The servant leader will have many tasks to complete in order to be a successful leader. They will want to meet all the needs of those that they serve. Besides just figuring out ways to meet the needs of those they serve they will want to be able to motivate employees and aid them in becoming efficient workers. Self-expression of the workers is important, a servant leader must find creative ways to bring it out in them. Building a work environment that feels like a family is important as well, it lifts moral.

When the workers feel they are taken care of their work production will increase as well. This form of leadership was developed to guide leaders away from the dictating style of leadership and make those in the work environment more comfortable. This system strongly emphasizes respect to its employees. Again, those who are shown respect will be more likey to be more resourceful in the work place. A pat on the back or a “good job” will go a long way.

Of course there are two sides to every argument and some feel the leader should be more of a partner than a servant. The thought around this is that the leader should not be subservient to the employee if they are to lead the troops. Some feel that the employee works better with their leader when they feel their leader is more a peer rather than a boss. Others believe you can combine both methods and be an effective leader. In fact it may depend on the leader, their personality and their staff.

A good leader will want to lean be selfless and focus more on their employees needs. Don’t just make decisions on what may be right for just you or your department, but rather for the whole business. Showing selflessness will show your fellow employees that you care more about the company than your own good. The employees will have more respect for you as a leader and this will lead to more efficient workers.

Overall to be an effective leader you should be true to yourself while respecting those you work with. Although you do not want to be a softy you will also want to guard from being a total dictator. Show respect to those under you and they in turn will produce more around the work environment and over all productivity will be up.


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