Though the philosophy of servant leadership can be applied at any time, it reaches its full development over the course of stewarding specific traits and characteristics. Characteristics that are developed within each leader and then sown into the body of the organization or business. These traits and characteristics help shape the company or organization for future success. Characteristics and traits are as follows:
- Community Focused
- Committed to Others Growth
Part of being a visionary is not just imagining a bright future but foreseeing the steps it will take to get there. These steps are mapped out when one looks at past, present and future. Gaining insight by looking at growth indicators over the timeline of the company and having the ability to predict future occurrences. It’s important for a servant leader to imagine the possibilities of the future so that goals can be set and achieved as well as being able to reconcile with current realities when necessary. Having the intuition to step through a new door and close another is influential in the decision making process of a company. It’s also inspirational to the team as not everyone has the natural ability of a visionary. Where one has ideas, others have the capacity to implement them. Working off of one another’s strengths is what helps produce cohesiveness amongst a team as responsibilities are distributed according to everyone’s capabilities.
A servant leader is one who assumes the role of a steward over an organization or companies resources. It’s a role that takes responsibility for the planning and managing of all available resources so the organization or company prospers. Particularly, when it comes to team management. Stewarding personal responsibilities as well as relationships; stewardship is applied by focusing on uplifting the well being of each person within the organization ensuring an overall happiness in the working environment. Servant leaders who model this stewardship well are committed to selfless service, practice inclusiveness, embrace innovation and change, are team players and are quick to give others credit where it is due.
Creating the feeling that one belongs to something greater than themselves is something a servant leader aims for when thinking about their team. Having a sense of community within the workplace engages those within the company to give above and beyond what is typically asked of them. When people are poured into they naturally begin to pour back out and this example is brought to life when leadership fosters connectivity where individuals are energized simply by being around one another. If you were to ask someone if they like their job they are likely to say no but if one were to answer yes and you asked them why, they will almost always tell you its because they enjoy the people they work with. Community is pivotal when looking to engage individuals in a working environment. Studies have shown over and over that a deep sense of community has a measurable impact on employee satisfaction and productivity.
Committed to Others Growth
Commitment to building others up is a what a servant leader does best. Their focus is on how they can help and serve others so that those individuals thrive and in return, pour out that same motivation into their work space. Servant leaders are dedicated to the success of others, even to the point that they place others success above their own. In other words, a servant leaders mark of success is when others are succeeding. This can be achieved in multiple ways such as helping employees create a career path and providing them with what is needed in order to reach one goal to the next. Things like getting your team involved with community outreach programs fosters growth as a team and as individuals. Working one on one with individuals in the pursuit of growing areas they lack in or find themselves unequipped. These are just some examples of helping others grow and find personal success. The key is the leaders commitment.
When leaders operate within this style of leadership they tend to see growth from the inside out, which to some, is the best method of approach. Whether this approach is applied or not, a company or organization will always thrive when pouring into their team with the purpose of bringing out their best.
Read part one To Lead is To Serve part one