What is it?
The phrase “Servant Leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as a Leader, an essay he first published in 1970 ("What is servant," ). The servant leader serves first, while aspiring to lead second. The servant leader serves the people that he or she leads, implying employees are an end in themselves rather than a means to organizational purpose or bottom-line. Servant leadership is meant to replace a command and control, top-down, model of management. Servant leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment. A few famous examples of servant leaders are George Washington, Gandi and Caesar Chavez. Key Principles
In a publication released by Nova Southeastern University, 10 principle characteristics were identified of servant leadership ("Leadership development -," 2007). 1.
Listening skills are vital for all leadership styles. Servant leaders make a deep commitment to intently listen to others. They seek to identify the will of a group or individual and listen to what is being said. 2.
It is important to understand and have compassion for others. People need to feel accepted and recognized for their unique qualities. Leaders must assume the good intentions and not reject them as people. 3.
Learning to heal is a powerful force for transformation and integration. A greatest strength of servant leaders is the potential to heal one’s self and others. 4.
General awareness, especially self-awareness, strengthens the servant leaders. 5.
Leaders rely on persuasion rather than positional, authoritative, decision making. Seeking to convince others, rather than coerce, is a goal of the leader. 6.
“Dreaming great dreams” is an ability that must be self-nurtured in a leader. The ability to look at a quandary from a conceptualizing perspective means a leader must think beyond everyday realities....
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