Stop outdated leadership approaches! This is being demanded more and more and the world of work is currently in a state of upheaval. Work on an equal footing, personal responsibility and flat hierarchies offer many advantages and help companies to innovate and create more. In the course of new work and agility, the Servant Leadership concept is also becoming more and more important. With Servant Leadership, you can expand your repertoire of leadership styles and expand and consolidate your skills as a leader. You can find out exactly what this leadership style is behind, how you apply it, and whether it suits you in this article.
What is Servant Leadership?
Literally, Servant Leadership sees the executive as a servant to the team and the entire organization. This does not mean, however, that a Servant Leader has to burn himself out completely and no longer has authority. However, the manager does everything for her team. Conversely, the team gives everything for the manager. Thus, the employees follow the manager not only because they have to, but because they want and feel supported and valued.
Often the concept of a servant leader is also compared to a host. The host sets the framework and sets the rules and behaviors, but also wants his guests to always feel comfortable, respond to their needs and is always there for his guests.
The style is anchored in agile leadership and flat hierarchies and is therefore particularly appealing to young people and generations Y and Z. For example, Servant Leadership is particularly suitable for young and modern companies or for those who want to become one.
Servant Leadership strives for meaning in the work and not for the mere processing of compulsory tasks. Employees should be empowered to help themselves and act independently. How a common vision is best implemented is not to be meticulously determined, but can be realized with enthusiasm and commitment by each individual through this approach.
In contrast to the traditional top-down management approach, employees here are empowered to share their ideas, get involved and carry out their work with the help of the manager. The classical hierarchy pyramid is thus reversed, so that independent work and mutual appreciation can arise.
A good servant leader practices ethics, empathy and empowerment not only in working hours, but also automatically in everyday life. The need to do something meaningful and good is firmly anchored in most of us and the basis for this leadership style. That’s why Servant Leadership isn’t limited to executives. Every single employee can act according to these principles and will usually do so, there is a corresponding role model in the form of the manager.
How is Servant Leadership implemented in practice?
Thus, Servant Leadership usually begins in a small and very subtle way and is gradually transferred to the whole organization. In most cases, this initiates many positive changes, which automatically result from them. So you don’t have to change everything from now on and learn the theories of Servant Leadership in countless courses. Often the right basic attitude and the focus on the common good is enough to initiate these processes and bring about positive changes.
If you want to practice Servant Leadership, you should be able to trust your employees and make decisions. You should always look for ways to help others, rather than focusing on how others can help you. This gives you a direction and empowers others to reach and implement it independently. Personal and professional development is also a central element of Servant Leadership. All these tasks also require a lot of courage, especially if you are one of the first executives in the company to apply this concept.
Despite all the positive effects, potential dangers of this leadership style should also be taken into account. For example, if you notice that executives are being exploited or that any respect for each other is lost, you should reconsider your approach. Servant Leadership should not only be limited to executives, but also lived by employees in order to live the positive attitude throughout the company.