There’s no question that culture is the driving force behind operational excellence. But few leaders understand that a positive company culture doesn’t appear out of thin air; it starts with their leadership style and methods.
A leader who takes on a servant leadership style is not passive or idle — they understand the needs of their team and do everything they can to provide them with the right tools to succeed. This results in a win-win scenario; the team is happy, and the organization thrives.
What is servant leadership, and what benefits does it provide over traditional styles? We review these questions and more to show you how this style can transform your organization.
What Is a Servant Leadership Style?
A servant leader prioritizes the well-being and needs of their team and community first. This is different from other leadership styles that focus on things like incentives — such as a transactional leadership style.
Servant leadership is a philosophy that emphasizes the best behaviors and practices to maximize the growth and potential of the team. Some of the most common servant leadership characteristics are:
1. Communicating and Listening
A servant leadership style encourages you to communicate directly with your team to listen to their needs or concerns. Leaders with this style are interested in understanding different perspectives and allowing others to voice their opinions.
2. Showing Appreciation for Others
Leaders that use traditional styles sometimes make the mistake of valuing their team based on performance. A servant leader focuses on the person first and foremost and values them for who they are, not just what they’ve done.
3. Supporting the Growth of Others
A servant leadership style promotes the development of others. A follower of this style will provide their team with the resources and training necessary to improve within the workplace. They understand that development is crucial to creating a successful and sustainable enterprise.
A servant leader is one that people want to follow because they know their requirements to succeed and grow will be met. By putting their team’s needs above their own, they realize they’re investing in something greater than themselves; they’re investing in a collaborative culture that reinforces their vision for the company.
How Servant Leadership Qualities Improve Team Collaboration
A culture infused with collaboration and a shared company vision is a culture of excellence. As a leader, you want to empower your team and cultivate your culture so that when problems occur — which they will — your team can rely on each other to pull through the tough times. This collaboration starts from leadership positions.
A servant leader who establishes collaboration and teamwork:
- Encourages team collaboration
- Promotes support and work-life balance
- Values diversity of team members
- Handles conflicts calmly and diplomatically
- Focuses on the success of everyone, not just themselves
When problems arise, a leader of this style will bring in their team and call upon their strengths to make important decisions. A team that collaborates to find the best possible solution reduces the risk of negative ROI and strengthens trust in each other, two essential qualities in the modern business world.
Embrace the Philosophy and Characteristics of Servant Leadership
Traditional leadership styles use a pyramid model to establish organizational hierarchy — leaders are ranked at the top while management, employees and customers are ranked lower. A servant leadership style inverts this hierarchy, ranking everything else above the leadership role.
Servant leaders know they work for their managers and employees — who work with the customers — and meet their needs. They do this because they understand their team plays a vital role in the culture, growth and success of the company and will continue to play a critical role for years.
Servant Leadership Style Training That Fits Your Team’s Needs
To lead a successful organization, it’s important to seek trustworthy counsel from reliable associates when making critical decisions. One way to build dependable and invaluable advisors within your team is by providing them with the right leadership training program that enables the adoption of a servant leadership style.
XINNIX®, The Academy of Excellence, uses experiential learning to provide the best educational platform for sales teams. Our team will work with your leaders to develop the skills they need to boost revenue and decision-making with the right strategies and collaboration. Our training has resulted in transformational changes for over 20 years, making XINNIX the premier choice for leadership and sales development.
We stand ready and dedicated to helping you and your team achieve organizational excellence. Learn more about our leadership performance training programs today!