Leadership Advantage: Servant leadership

October 17, 2017 -  By

Culture can be defined as how a team or organization thinks, feels and acts or how an organization behaves. In his book Built To Last, author Jim Collins explores the importance of culture in top-performing firms. While most owners understand the value of a healthy culture intellectually, it can be difficult to achieve. Companies invest much time and effort in defining their mission, vision and core values in hopes of driving team performance. Unfortunately, these components can be powerless without one additional ingredient: servant leadership.

The phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in “The Servant as Leader,” an essay he first published in 1970. Greenleaf said, “Unlike leadership approaches with a top-down hierarchical style, servant leadership instead emphasizes collaboration, trust, empathy and the ethical use of power. At heart, the individual is a servant first, making the conscious decision to lead in order to better serve others, not to increase (his) own power.”

Servant leadership turns the power pyramid upside down. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. At the root of servanthood is humility. There’s an old saying: “People don’t care what you know until they know you care.” When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they unlock purpose and ingenuity in those around them, resulting in higher performance and engaged, fulfilled employees.

A servant leader’s purpose should be to inspire and equip the people he or she influences. So, as you seek to create a culture that attracts and retains the best talent, don’t overlook the power of servant leadership.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in 1017

About the Author:

Thomas, founder of Envisor Consulting, has owned three of Atlanta’s most successful landscape companies. Reach him at kenthomas@envisorco.com.

Comments are currently closed.