Servant Leadership is to lead while serving others. Ten guiding principles encompass it. The most definitive and important of those are Empathy, commitment, and commitment to the growth of people. To become a servant leader you must adhere to these traits. Some of these traits will be easier and second hand nature to you while the others will require practice. I will explain in depth the importance of these three specific traits throughout the following. As a result you will understand the importance of these principals and how they can improve an organization tremendously.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of being empathetic? Being empathetic is to understand and share the feelings of another. Many leaders have worked their way to their positions but in different organizations. Those qualifications and experiences can help them attain a supervisor’s position or above in your profession. Although they are qualified, many times they do not fully comprehend the work done at lower levels. This can create a friction point. To them, they do not consider the task to be difficult. While a servant leader is fully aware of the difficulties involved. Not only do they understand but they are also capable of helping complete the task to standard. This creates trust within an organization to know that a leader knows how and is able to help you if you need it. Remaining empathetic at all times will improve a work environment exponentially. Always remember where you came from, and the leaders that committed themselves to helping you.
Commitment is one of the most valuable traits a Servant Leader can possess. It is simply remaining dedicated at all times. As a leader you will not be able to effectively and efficiently lead others if they do not trust that you are as dedicated, if not more invested in a task as they are. Those you lead must always see that no matter the adversity that you face, you will always go great lengths in order to complete a task while keeping everyone’s wellbeing in mind. Whether it be professional, personal, or mental adversity. Your followers will always look to you to lead the way. If you are the kind of person to pick something up then turn around and put it down without first completing it, they will do one of two things. They will mirror this work ethic or they will perceive you to be someone that not only is not committed to the tasks but that you are also not committed to them. Ultimately destroying the possibility of creating a solid leader subordinate foundation. By remaining committed you set an example for others to follow and as a result you display a commitment to the growth of others.
This last trait is the bread and butter of a Servant Leader. The commitment to the growth of people. Servant Leaders are mentors, they groom their subordinates to not only succeed but to also take their place when the time comes. A good leader is an individual that makes every effort to create better leaders than themselves. They train to standard, train while operating, train adaptability, and train subordinates to lead. Servant Leaders train people that someday they may have to follow while keeping in mind that they want these leaders to be worth following. This commitment to an individual’s or group’s growth is necessary to an organization’s growth. If leadership abilities were to stagnate then so will an organization. These people you are training will be your successors one day. Do you want to be the leader that only worried about your own personal growth or do you want to be a leader that contributed to the growth of others? Keep in mind that by grooming the next generation you are developing new skills and learning new process. The commitment to the growth of others is a commitment to the growth of yourself.
In Summary, maintaining a sense of empathy, commitment and commitment to the growth of others are the most important traits a Servant Leader can display. Even though there are more principals involved in becoming an efficient leader. The other traits are something that will come naturally if you focus on these three. You should always keep these three principles in the uppermost of your mind. They will result in a better organizational atmosphere, confidence in you from your subordinates and growth in yourself. If you practice these three things no matter the circumstances you may face and you will always be a great leader.