In today’s world, with the challenges that we’re faced with brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world is turning to people who can lead them, inspire them, and meet their needs. We’re all looking for leaders that are not just products of reputable leadership programs, such as Miick, but ones that will direct our steps and provide care for us.
Caring used to be a responsibility taken on by individuals but since organizations and institutions are now in the business of providing care, the approach now seems impersonal and distant, with a lot of instances of incompetence and corruption, mainly because those who are in charge of these institutions have lost their sense of direction and shifted all the focus and attention to themselves.
What is Servant Leadership?
Servant leadership is a leadership concept wherein an individual takes on a position of authority or a leadership responsibility without any hint of self-interest, only looking out for the benefit and welfare of others.
The term servant-leader was first coined by Robert Greenleaf in his essay The Servant as Leader. The emphasis of this leadership model is the development of the follower and takes the focus off the leader’s glorification. They seek to address wants and needs primarily, with the pursuit of leadership taking only a secondary or even tertiary position.
A servant-leader demonstrates empathy, stewardship, active listening, compassion, and commitment to other people’s personal growth. They seek to share the power they were entrusted with to promote the welfare of others by serving them instead of taking all the authority and lording it over people.
How does it affect the workplace?
Several studies have already been conducted about how a style of leadership has direct and mediating effects on employees’ behavior and attitude. That being said, the psychological climate in your workplace starts and ends with leadership.
A servant-leader typically embodies the following characteristics:
- Building community
- Commitment to people’s growth
When these characteristics are consistently and constantly modeled by the authority figures in the workplace, the following takes place at work:
- Employee satisfaction is high which leads to a minimal turnover and attrition rate.
- A low turnover rate means the company saves more time and money on recruiting and training new personnel.
- Consistency in output is better because the vacancies in positions are fewer and far between.
- When workers are led by a selfless leader, employee loyalty is significantly increased in the workplace which also leads to greater overall productivity.
Now more than ever, the leadership model that is geared towards serving others selflessly is in great demand. As we go deeper into the uncharted territory that the coronavirus pandemic has ushered us into, we are seeing a lot of people step up to the challenge and provide the type of compassionate and emphatic leadership we’re all longing for.
Learning to lead with the idea of meeting your workers’ needs and not just those of your customers’ and clients’ or even yours is a revolutionary concept that could potentially change the business landscape as we know it and make the world a far better place than we’re used to.