The Servant Leadership Advantage for YOU!

 In leadership training, Leadership trust, leading by example, Servant leadership, servant leadership qualities

Why is Servant Leadership an advantage for you? If you are a manager, if you learn it, you will be more successful. (See this: The Potential, Principles, and Payoff of Servant Leadership.) If you are an employee your workplace will be more pleasant if not inspiring.

How is Servant Leadership different from traditional leadership?

Servant leadership differs from traditional leadership in critical ways:

  1. Focus on Serving Others: Servant leadership prioritizes serving the needs of others over personal advancement or power. Traditional leadership often focuses on achieving organizational goals or personal success.
  2. Empowerment and Development: Servant leaders empower and develop their team members, fostering their growth and helping them reach their full potential. In contrast, traditional leaders may focus more on directing and controlling their team members to achieve specific outcomes.
  3. Listening and Empathy: Servant leaders actively listen to their team members, showing empathy and understanding their needs and concerns. They seek to build relationships based on trust and respect. Traditional leaders may be more directive and less inclined to listen to the perspectives of others.
  4. Collaboration and Inclusion: Servant leaders value collaboration and inclusivity, encouraging participation from all members of the team and fostering a sense of community. Traditional leaders may adopt a more hierarchical approach, where decisions are made at the top and communication flows downward.
  5. Longer-Term Perspective: Servant leaders often take a long-term view, considering the impact of their decisions on the well-being of their team members and the organization. Traditional leaders may prioritize short-term results or immediate gains.

The Servant Leadership Advantage for YOU!Overall, while traditional leadership may focus on authority and control, servant leadership emphasizes service, empowerment, and collaboration to achieve collective goals and promote the well-being of all involved.

Why do organizations resist Servant Leadership?

Review seven reasons that contribute to organizations resisting servant leadership:

  1. Cultural Norms and Expectations: Organizations often have deeply ingrained cultures that prioritize traditional hierarchical structures and authoritative leadership styles. Servant leadership may challenge these norms and expectations, leading to resistance from those accustomed to more traditional approaches.
  2. Misconceptions about Effectiveness: Leaders may perceive servant leadership as weak or ineffective, mistakenly equating it with being too soft or lenient. They may believe that strong, directive leadership is necessary to drive results and achieve success.
  3. Fear of Losing Control: Servant leadership decentralizes power and encourages empowerment among team members. Leaders who are accustomed to having control over decision-making and direction may fear losing their authority or influence in a servant leadership model.
  4. Time and Resource Constraints: Adopting servant leadership requires time, effort, and resources to build trust, develop relationships, and empower team members. In demanding environments or during times of organizational change, leaders may feel pressure to prioritize short-term goals over investing in the servant leadership approach.
  5. Resistance to Change: Introducing servant leadership often involves shifting organizational mindsets, behaviors, and practices. Resistance to change is common in organizations, as people may feel comfortable with the status quo or uncertain about the potential outcomes of adopting a new leadership paradigm.
  6. Lack of Understanding or Training: Leaders may not fully understand the principles and practices of servant leadership or how to effectively implement them. Without proper education and training, they may struggle to embrace and integrate servant leadership into their leadership approach.
  7. Organizational Structure and Policies: Hierarchical organizational structures, rigid policies, and performance metrics focused solely on individual achievement can hinder the adoption of servant leadership. Leaders may feel constrained by existing structures and practices that do not align with the principles of servant leadership.

Overcoming resistance to servant leadership often requires a combination of education, training, cultural change, and leadership commitment to create an environment where servant leadership principles can thrive.

The Servant Leadership Advantage for YOU!

What is the payoff of Servant Leadership?

These research reports quantify the payoff of Servant Leadership.

  • Sipe & Frick study (authors of the 7 Pillars of Servant Leadership 2009, results of a ten-year period) —Stocks from the top five hundred public companies averaged a 10.8 percent pre-tax return. Eleven companies in Collin’s Good to Great averaged a 17.5 percent return. The servant-led companies’ returns averaged 24.2 percent! Good to Great companies did beat the average companies as did Servant Led organizations. However, Servant Led companies beat the Good to Great Companies and did more than twice as well as other companies.
  • Research by Schaubroeck, Lam, and Peng 2011–Found servant leadership at the team level gained 10% in performance.
  • Give and Take, Research 2013–Adam Grant, management researcher and professor at the Wharton School of Business, shows in his book Give and Take that Servant Leaders are more productive and more highly regarded by employees.
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago Business School 2015–Conducted a study at national restaurant chain.  It demonstrated that the stores with servant leaders gained 6 percent higher job performance, 8 percent increase in positive customer service ratings, and 50 percent higher staff retention rate.
  • Research by Hoch, Bommer, Dulebohn & Wu 2016–Showed an additional 12% gain in outcomes beyond other studies.

The Servant Leadership Advantage for YOU!What do Servant Leaders do differently and better than others?

Servant leaders distinguish themselves from other leaders by their unique approach to leadership, characterized by key behaviors and practices:

  1. Prioritize the Needs of Others: Servant leaders focus on serving the needs of their team members, putting the interests of others ahead of their own. They actively listen to their team members, show empathy, and seek to understand their perspectives, concerns, and aspirations.
  2. Empower and Develop Others: Servant leaders empower their team members by providing them with autonomy, support, and resources to succeed. They prioritize the growth and development of their team members through continuous coaching. In addition, they provide and encourage continuous learning, skill-building, and career advancement.
  3. Build Trust and Collaboration: Servant leaders foster a culture of trust, openness, and collaboration within their teams and organizations. They create an environment where team members feel safe to express their ideas, opinions, and concerns and where diverse perspectives are valued and respected.
  4. Lead by Example: Servant leaders lead by example, demonstrating the values, behaviors, and ethics they expect from others. They model humility, integrity, and servant-heartedness in their actions and decisions, inspiring trust, respect, and loyalty from their team members.
  5. Facilitate Growth and Innovation: Servant leaders encourage innovation, creativity, and continuous improvement within their teams and organizations. They create opportunities for experimentation, risk-taking, and learning from failure, fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability.
  6. Serve as Mentors and Coaches: Servant leaders function as mentors and coaches to their team members, providing guidance, support, and feedback to help them reach their full potential. They invest time and energy in developing the skills, confidence, and resilience of their team members.
  7. Promote Inclusivity and Diversity: Servant leaders promote inclusivity and diversity within their teams and organizations, recognizing the value of different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. They create opportunities for all team members to contribute and thrive, regardless of their identity or background.
  8. Focus on Long-Term Impact: Servant leaders take a long-term view, considering the impact of their decisions and actions on the well-being of their team members, organizations, and communities. They prioritize sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical leadership, aiming to create lasting positive change.

The Servant Leadership Advantage for YOU!

Pulling It all Together

Overall, servant leaders differentiate themselves by their commitment to serving others, genuinely caring, empowering their team members, and building trust and collaboration. They foster growth and innovation, and lead with humility and integrity while focusing on longer-term impact. These qualities emanate from the 10 Principles of Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf. In conclusion, read and remember his words as shared below.

  • “Good leaders must first become good servants.”
  • “Leadership must first and foremost meet the needs of others.”
  • “Servant leadership always empathizes, always accepts the person, but sometimes refuses to accept some of the person’s effort or performance as good enough.”
  • “Don’t assume, because you are intelligent, able, and well-motivated, that you are open to communication, that you know how to listen.”
  • “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from the one who is leader first.”

Why not join us on LinkedIn for the Servant Leadership revolution that is taking place about the power of people? Go here:  ServantLeadership@RickConlow International. THANK YOU!

Also, click here for excellent insight to transform from a good to great coach, through a complimentary resource called– How Does Servant Leadership Work?

The Servant Leadership Advantage for YOU!In addition, see our RealTime Learning & Training leadership and personal development website–over 250 resources. Micro-learning and career advancement at your fingertips!

Finally, see Rick’s newest book. The 5 Dynamics of Servant Leadership: How to accelerate your career and inspire your team!  See his newest self-directed leadership training: 21 Servant Leadership Training Lessons.


Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

Have a question? Send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Enroll today & receive the Superstar Leadership Performance Plan!

Superstar Leadership Blog

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Rick Conlow will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.


There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Rick Conlow will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.

Download your copy of How to Create a High Performance Team!