What is Servant Leadership?
Servant leadership is a term coined by Robert Greenleaf in 1970, changing the way we think about leadership in companies. Instead of suggesting employees complete tasks that serve and support their bosses, Greenleaf asserted the boss should support the employees. The boss supports their team with leadership and guidance, empowering team members to take ownership of their actions.
When it’s done right, it can improve your corporate culture as you build a team dedicated to achieving sustainable growth for your company. How can servant leadership help you to be a better manager and work for your team.
Create a Better Company Culture
When decisions are always coming from senior management, then employees don’t take ownership of what happens in the company. Eventually they start to resent those orders. Moreover, the best people equipped to execute on the vision and goals for the company are usually the employees themselves, not the senior managers with corner offices on the top floor.
If the company’s servant-leaders provide employees with resources and ideas, minimizing the red tape and other obstacles employees encounter, those employees can work a lot more efficiently. They’ll feel respected and trusted to make authentic, real-time decisions in their everyday tasks.
To be an effective servant-leader, you need regular and honest communication with your staff. You should be constantly asking questions to make sure they have everything they need – information, equipment, staff support – to be poised for success. When your employees need help or guidance, you’re among the first to know and you can step in to offer advice and a more experienced perspective.
Not only does servant leadership provide more experience, it allows a broader perspective with more knowledge about what’s going on in other parts of the company. In other words, you can bridge communication gaps and create cross-collaboration.
Coach and Provide Feedback
A servant-leader must be thoughtful, careful and proactive, making sure they’re hiring people who are put in position to succeed. You don’t always have to have the right answer, but you do need to remember you’re the expert and your coaching is imperative to helping your employees innovate and problem solve. When your employees’ decisions are aligned with your greater team goals, success is much easier to achieve.
Switch Your Leadership Style
You don’t need to wait for an edict to come down from upper management before you change your management style. You can do it yourself by asking your employees what would make their lives easier. Can you eliminate certain tasks for them? Or streamline procedures? You’ll have to compromise of course. Stay within the realm of the law and stay true to your company’s goals.
If you can make your employees feel empowered, respected and trusted through servant leadership, they’ll be happier, more engaged and more productive. Acting as a servant-leader flips the table on management and will help you build trust and respect with your employees.
Are you looking for help leading your team to new heights? The staffing specialists at ICR Staffing Services in Victorville, CA can help. Contact us today to learn about our temporary and direct placement solutions.
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