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9 Principles of Servant Leadership – Future Grow Academy

Principles of Servant Leadership

Everybody has a different approach when it comes to managing and being managed. There are a variety of management approaches to leadership that we might use in organizations. In 1970, Robert K. Greenleaf was the first to create the term “servant leadership.” However, people have been using the Principles of Servant Leadership for ages.

A management approach known as “servant leadership” puts the needs and development of staff members—rather than just their feelings—front and center. These consist of attentive listening, empathetic communication, stewardship, vision, persuasion, conceptualization, awareness-raising, healing, commitment to the personal and professional development of others, and community building.

Some Characteristics of Servant Leadership

1. Honor Others

“I speak to everyone the same way, whether he is a garbage man or the president of the university,” said Albert Einstein once. This little sentence captures the Principles of Servant Leadership by putting the needs of others before your own. No matter where someone is in life, Einstein treats them all with true respect by treating them all as if they are important. An attitude of respect is the fundamental quality of a servant leader.

Let’s put this idea into perspective: a team member approaches you and admits that they have forgotten why they are doing what they are doing. Criticism in return does significantly more harm than just the relationship. It destroys your approachability as their leader and stifles personal drive, both of which hurt team and individual productivity.

But you have already begun the process of developing a devoted team member who has a genuine enthusiasm for their profession if you accept and validate a worry like this, expressing thanks and respect for their openness.

2. Creation Of A Trusting Environment

A crucial component of every organization is trust. A leader cultivates a culture of trust by communicating the company’s long-term objectives to all stakeholders and by making plain to them the purpose and principles they must maintain. Being clear about everything inside the organization helps to develop trust.

Every communication should have a clear purpose and be sent via the appropriate chain of command to all levels of the organization. Setting an example for the team and managing the organization’s business should be transparent and impartial for a leader. Openness promotes trust, which has a direct impact on the success of your business. Keep in mind that trust is mutual. It has to be earned, not handed to you.

3. Authenticity

You need to be authentic to understand What is Servant Leadership. To foster trust-based relationships, a servant leader must be committed to their authenticity. You can’t just depend on a title or positional authority to gain influence among team members; you also need to establish and maintain a high degree of trust. It is your responsibility to persuade those you lead to follow you voluntarily, not out of obligation.

To do this, servant leaders establish relationships with their team members that are based on genuine influence and trust that is achieved by accountability, openness, and honesty.

Additionally, they give team members the room to interact authentically with the leadership and with one another. This can help stop toxic cultures from spreading and relieve employees of the constant pressure to “blend in,” which is evident in code-switching and other workplace behaviors that can hurt the workplace’s culture, sense of belonging, and psychological safety.

4. Integrity

Integrity, which is the state of being truthful and possessing high moral and ethical standards, is as crucial to fostering a culture of trust among team members as authenticity.

Servant leaders uphold openness, are truthful in their words and deeds, and honor their promises to subordinates and clients. Servant leaders create high-integrity teams by building them on their own moral compass and sense of integrity.

They provide an example of key principles for the rest of the team to follow, communicate authentically, provide constructive criticism, and think through the moral implications of every choice they make. Integrity is a virtue that underpins all other servant leadership tenets and principles. It not only keeps employee trust strong but also fosters cultural buy-in and closer alignment with core values.

5. Compassion

Compassion is one of the Principles of Servant Leadership. Empathy enables us to be saddened by the tragedy of another. Empathy enables us to comprehend and experience another person’s emotions. When you combine conventional leadership techniques with a healthy dosage of understanding, sympathy, and compassion, you get compassionate leadership.

One of the ten principles of social leadership is empathy, but a real servant leader goes beyond compassion and empathy to take action to end the suffering of others.

The trust between workers and management is shattered when management intervenes on behalf of staff to resolve consumer issues. Profits and short-term thinking will eventually cause you to lose empathy for your staff. When that occurs, the caliber of your service will start to deteriorate.

6. Ethical Practices

According to the book of Proverbs, “A good name is to be chosen over great riches.” Millions of prosperous leaders during the last two millennia have discovered the usefulness of this adage.

Integrity is something that cannot be purchased, yet lacking it may have expensive consequences. Although this virtue is emphasized in Christian teachings, proverbs or parables encouraging this idea may be found in practically all major religions. We may conclude from this that honesty matters.

We have seen what seems like an endless number of organizational scandals over the last several decades, involving everything from large enterprises to non-profits and churches. One or more leaders’ lack of moral rectitude and integrity is the recurring thread in all of these controversies.

However, integrity takes time to degrade. Leaders seldom, if ever, consider the possibility that they may become strong and deceive thousands of people by breaking or bending the law. To put it another way, significant scandals don’t usually happen overnight for leaders. These infamous events are the result of everyday choices. Because of this, it’s critical that you as a leader communicate clearly about the things that are non-negotiable in both your personal and professional life.

7. Empowerment

Empowerment is strongly related to Greenleaf’s servant leadership ideals, which include persuasion, awareness, stewardship, and foresight. By giving their team members liberty and the freedom to make errors and grow from them, servant leaders enable their people. For innovation and creativity to thrive, this is essential.

To gain influence, servant leaders take into account the long-term effects of their choices and actions. They also know what their team members need to succeed and rely on persuasion rather than force and command. Finally, they manage resources well, ensuring that future generations can benefit from them.

This kind of leadership fosters the perfect environment for creativity to flourish. The element of fear is eliminated and one of the largest barriers to creativity is also eliminated when leaders care about their team members and cultivate strong, trustworthy relationships with them. Fear-based environments are not conducive to creativity, as servant leaders are aware.

8. Continuous Development

In an environment where learning is engrained in the culture and errors are welcomed and seen as teaching opportunities, servant leaders are dedicated to the development of others and assist them in cultivating an attitude of continuous improvement.

Few policies are more harmful to an organization’s development, inventiveness, and morale than a “zero-tolerance” approach to errors. However, a lot of managers—even CEOs—continue to advocate for these rules.

Servant leaders adopt a completely different strategy because they understand that innovation is impossible without trying, failing, learning from our mistakes, and trying again. Making the most of errors as teaching moments fosters creativity and progress while enhancing accountability; workers who accept responsibility for their work are dedicated to ongoing development to describe What is Servant Leadership.

9. Privilege People

A pioneer in the area of living out purpose, Simon Sinek has said, “People expect a return on their financial investment. People want to participate when they are emotionally involved.

Nothing is more valuable than a group of people who are passionate about doing their jobs. A team like this starts with leadership that recognizes and values each team member individually as well as collectively.

Many leaders struggle to discern how they may maintain their complete power over the team while both affirming and respecting its members. But just like with the preceding Servant Leadership standards, underappreciating staff members leads to an unhappy team, a negative atmosphere, and shoddy output. But there’s a simple fix for this conundrum: showing value with deference, thoughtfulness, and plain encouragement.

Benefits of Servant Leadership

If we, as leaders, let our teams continue in their existing patterns of inertia, we risk severely crippling our organizations. The most astute and self-aware leaders acknowledge the group of influences and leaders that facilitated their rise to prominence.

If an organization prioritizes profit above empowering people and teams, ultimately it will collapse. When a team lacks leverage and the leader becomes the lone point of failure, this may happen. Even when these leaders achieve their financial goals, they still have to deal with the ticking time bomb of important team members leaving to pursue more rewarding career paths.

Leaders who are concerned with empowering and using their people provide a secure atmosphere that promotes bold choices. With your direction, a team may take calculated chances and, more often than not, come out on top with this kind of safety.

Along with looking for areas where team members’ personal and organizational objectives intersect, these leaders also try to understand their ambitions. A leader may structure team duties to maximize the internal incentives of each team member by being aware of and prioritizing these shared objectives and Principles of Servant Leadership.

Abraham Lincoln was a rare leader who intentionally empowered a team to the same extent. He surrounded himself with the majority of his erstwhile Republican Party enemies early in his administration because he saw their importance and the contributions they might make to his political goals.


Q: How is successful servant leadership achieved?

A: A servant leader prioritizes the success, development, and well-being of the people they lead and manage above their own goals and objectives. Since their success is determined by the accomplishments of their staff, they are more motivated to set a good example and make investments in the development of their group.

Q: What restrictions apply to servant leadership?

A: Few leaders have experience with servant leadership; implementing this style of leadership may require challenging cultural shifts; decisions may take time, which can be problematic during emergencies; or employees may be assigned more responsibilities than they can handle are some of the drawbacks of servant leadership.

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