Servant Leadership And Servant Leaders


Servant Leader

DEFINITION of ‘Servant Leadership’ from INVESTOPEDIA

A leadership philosophy in which an individual interacts with others – either in a management or fellow employee capacity – with the aim of achieving authority rather than power. The authority figure intends to promote the well-being of those around him/her. Servant leadership involves the individual demonstrating the characteristics of empathy, listening, stewardship and commitment to personal growth toward others.

Dan Rockwell over at Leadership Freak describes a servant leadership as:

Servant Leadership:

    1. Servant leaders make life better for others. Influence is portioned to the extent you improve life for others.

    2. Resentment and bitterness reveal self-serving leadership. Servant leaders serve freely and joyfully. Service is privilege and opportunity not oppression. Resentment indicates you didn’t get what you expected.

    3. Servant leaders experience freedom by giving themselves to others.

    4. Servant leaders seek the advantage of others without degrading themselves. Values, gifts, and self-respect guide servant leaders. You can’t walk on servant leaders. They are the strongest people I know. Servant leaders don’t violate their values or ethical standards – they serve them.

    5. Servant leaders place organizational interests above their own. The day you receive more value than you give is the day to find a new place of service. The question servant leaders ask is, “What value can I bring?”

    6. Servant leaders thrive in organizations that believe in serving. Dog-eat-dog cultures build self-protective, self-serving environments that abuse those who serve. Run!

    7. Servant leaders enjoy reciprocity when recipients are capable. Service is it’s own reward. Some are not able to return benefit. But, the best way to server takers is not to serve them.

    8. Servant leaders choose development before discipline. Poor performers are moved or removed so they can find success and fulfillment elsewhere. But, servant leaders give maximum effort to developing team members, before taking corrective action.

    This kind of leadership doesn’t have the attitude of a snake and the smell of a skunk. It is a leadership as soft as a kitten and bold as a lion. It is the type of leadership that has a compassion for people. It seems to be a leadership that is easy to do but hard. It takes a lot of work to be a servant and yet not be a push over. It takes a life time to learn, to accomplish and yet rewarding.

    Ronald Reagan had some of the qualities of  a servant leader. He stood up to the evil empire and won. It wasn’t by combat but standing his ground. He called communism what it was evil. His speeches encouraged and made one laugh.

    Audie L Murphy could be considered a servant leader. He lead his men from the front not the back. He wasn’t afraid to take a bullet for his men. He was humble yet bold.

    I am going to quote myself from one of  my blog post on Martin Luther King, Jr. He is another servant leader. Martin Luther King inspired others to follow him in his crusade to right a wrong.

    “Martin Luther King was a man of God. He saw a wrong and rose to meet the challenge. He didn’t sway off course in meeting the challenge until it was done. He was martyred. It is a shame we need more wise warriors like him in this day.”

    Moses stood up for his people. He showed courage in facing Pharaoh. Moses lead his people out of Egypt. When things got tight and Moses didn’t know what do, he called on God and God helped him. When the Israelites were being brats, causing God to get angry, Moses interceded for them. He ask God to have mercy on them. Moses mentored Joshua to take over leadership of the Israelites. Moses may not have been a good leader in the beginning but he sure was in the end. If you don’t believe me I recommend reading Exodus to Deuteronomy in the Bible. Moses was a servant leader too.

    As Christian we are told to follow Jesus’ ways. He too was a servant leader. He was the ultimate servant leader. Crowds follow him to hear his teachings. He healed the sick, cast out demons. He fed 4000 and 5000 people. He walked on water. He he turn jars of water into wine. He was a counseled the sinner. When Jesus was confronted he stood his ground. Jesus loved us so much he died on the cross for our sins.

    Being a servant leader can be rewarding and also can have a high price.


    If you are interested in learning more about servant leadership and being a servant leader. I recommend starting at Leadership Freak. Here are some post you can start on his blog.

    1. Servant Leaders Aren’t Doormats

    2. 7 Qualities Servant-Leaders Expect From Others

    3. 7 Powerful Qualities of Servant-Leaders

    4. Servant not Slave

    5. Lessons from Abraham and Joseph

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