We can talk all we want about the characteristics of great leaders. We can suggest great leaders are charismatic, smart, driven, strategic and more. One thing we don’t hear (or say) very often is that great leaders are servants.
Servants? They can’t be servants. If they are to be leaders, how can they also be servants?
Here’s how. The job of the leader at its most basic is to lead. That is, to help others collectively achieve more than they otherwise could individually. Good leaders are able to lead in many ways and for many reasons. Some have very dynamic personalities. People are attracted to the dynamic personality and will do anything for the dynamic leader. Others are smart and strategic so people follow them because the leader knows what to do.
Great leaders empower their team members and show them compassion and gratitude by serving them. They serve their team members by helping them achieve their goals and placing more importance on the well being of their team members individually than even themselves. Servant leaders aren’t egomaniacs. They aren’t leading for the glory. They are leading to achieve something bigger than themselves.
Many people think the concept of servant leadership is reserved to those fighting for social justice. However, servant leaders can and do succeed in business as well.
One can achieve more in any line of work by caring for and serving those who impact the larger goal.
Are you a servant leader? Can you think of successful leaders you have known – were any of them servant leaders?