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What is service leadership / Your team first then you- Is this how leadership is wise?

What is service leadership / Your team first then you- Is this how leadership is wise?

First: what is service leadership?

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Service leadership is a leadership philosophy or leadership style, in which the individual interacts with others – whether a manager or a colleague – to achieve power or access to power, and achieve his goal by doing so without force or oppression, and away from “control,” but by adopting functional “synergy” and assistance that makes It is a purposeful “servant”.

A huge giant hand becomes a bridge over chart/mountain for a business team.

It was Robert K. Greenleaf who first coined the term ‘service leadership’ in his 1970 article ‘Servant as Leader’. Either way, the term has become an approach that people have been using for decades.

As a servant leader, you are a servant first. You focus on the needs of others, especially team members, before focusing on your own.

You take other people’s points of view into account, give them the support they need to achieve their business and personal goals, involve them in decision-making when possible, and build a sense of belonging among your team members.

This leads to broader participation, greater trust, and stronger relationships with team members and with other stakeholders. This can also lead to increased creativity.

Service leadership is not a style or technique of leadership, but rather a way of behaving in the long run.

It is part of democratic leadership styles and has similarities with transformational leadership which is often the most effective leadership style in business situations and with level 5 leadership in which leaders show humility through the way they operate.

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But service leadership faces a problem in hierarchical and authoritarian cultures where leaders make all decisions. Here, leaders may struggle to gain respect.

important note:

Remember that servant leadership is about focusing on other people’s needs, not their feelings. So don’t avoid making unfamiliar decisions or providing negative feedback to team members when it’s needed.

It also does not rely entirely on service leadership, but rather uses it alongside other methods such as transformational leadership where you develop an inspiring future vision, motivate people to deliver this vision, manage the process of its implementation, and build a strong team permanently.


Have you ever heard of a dedicated leader in every sense of the word?

A leader who helps his team members develop their skills that are required under work, but also not required, to help them advance in their careers, a leader who makes every effort to see any situation from the point of view of others before his own, and makes decisions in a manner that takes into account the interests of the team first, and ensures that His team is fully provided with the knowledge, material and service resources he needs. This is a glimpse of the qualities of what we call a “service leader” or a servant leader, meaning that we are not used to imagining when we hear the word “leadership.” The leader has always exercised authority by leadership, but in leadership Service Leadership, it’s different.

At first glance, we may conclude from the previous words that servant leadership is a good thing, but leads to higher and better.. Perhaps, I do not blame you for this imagining, but by nature, I hope you do not judge things from several lines only, we must research and scrutinize more than that.

Service leadership may be a good leadership trait, but in your opinion does it have negative qualities? Or can it negatively affect the leader himself? Follow me to learn more about aspects of this term.

What does it mean to be a servant leader?

The service leader deals with situations from the perspective of the servant first and considers his presence in any situation to meet the needs of the organization and employees, and then pursues his task of leadership as a secondary task.

Flat illustration with business ladies climbing together on mountain peak top on blue clouded sky background. Teamwork, achievement, reaching aim, partnership, motivation, support, – metaphor.

As a servant leader, you are a servant before you are a leader, you focus on the needs of other members of your team before you care about your own, because you consider their needs to take precedence over your advancement, you acknowledge their perspectives, understand and hear them, and give them all the support to achieve their business goals and on a personal level as well, you involve them often in the decisions you make at work, in almost all of the decisions, and in doing so you build a fully collaborative community within the business.

Even as a service leader rises in position, he encourages his subordinates to consider service and support of others and to prioritize the public interest over personal gain.

What is service leadership / Your team first then you- Is this how leadership is wise?


What is the difference between service leadership and traditional leadership?

Each of the two terms uses different working techniques, and each also provides significantly different results.

In traditional leadership, the leader encourages employees to do their jobs by directing and motivating them, but in general, all of the leader’s concern is to improve the company’s overall business and position in the marketplace.

In service leadership, the main objective of the leader is to serve his employees, focus on his subordinates and try to improve their lives instead of paying attention to the company, and ensure the growth of his subordinates in all areas: professional, cognitive, independence, health and physical as well.

An illustration of the difference between traditional right-hand driving and left-hand service driving

Service leadership is a leader’s way of having higher team involvement, building stronger trust between the manager and members and among the members themselves, and may also lead to greater innovation. Everyone is happy at work! So perhaps service leadership is not a “leadership” or “leadership style” per se, but rather a management method adopted in the long run.

Often, service leadership can be seen as a complementary technology to what is called “democratic leadership”; which adopts democracy in work and dealing and bears similarities with “transformational leadership”; Which is often the most effective technique in various work situations because it relies on leaders’ participation of subordinates in achieving high-level business goals.

However, unlike these, service leadership is problematic in a work hierarchy culture, because in the normal course of business, leaders and managers are expected to make all critical decisions, while in service leadership, leaders struggle to gain respect first.

The leader here focuses on the needs of others before his own. Yes, but he does not rely on feelings to meet his needs. Sometimes the service leader gives negative notes to team members when needed, and he may make uncommon decisions after negotiating with the team.

Yes, the service leader is not a stupid or weak person, or It is underestimated, so service leadership is a good leadership style, but hey, nothing in life is inherently perfect. We cannot say that it is 100% a good style. Yes, some obstacles and negatives must be addressed.

What is service leadership / Your team first then you- Is this how leadership is wise?


What are the negative repercussions of being a “servant” leader?

As mentioned earlier, service leadership is a way of life rather than a policy, and originally, it was not until 2004 that the study of this concept began formally and validly, and empirically. The research was conducted – and is still being done – on service leadership and its aftermath, because ethics has become so important and a source of concern in the Work environment, so leaders who adopt this style of leadership must ensure that it is conducted honestly and ethically.

Despite the mentioned positive aspects of service leadership, it bears negative aspects, one of which is when the leader does not act ethically, and thus reduces the motivation and confidence of his employees in him, and this negatively affects all their actions and will negatively affect the business of the company and the atmosphere in general, and here it is Exercising this service leadership is a pointless idea.

That is why a wide variety of metrics have been created to track the effects of service leadership in organizations and institutions.

Sometimes a leader with this type of leadership is already inexperienced! Not all leaders can be servants! Some cannot act in a service manner, and others may possess a sense of authority and refuse to allow others to reach a good place.. Regardless of the results of being non-serving, becoming accustomed to the service style is not an easy thing, and requires adopting a new cultural style.

In addition, decisions in service leadership can take the time that is wasted and harmful in a crisis, and some leaders place more responsibility on their employees than they can do, except that the overall development of each member of the team may lead to the loss of the primary goal which is to achieve the goals of the organization as a whole Here, service leadership becomes a complete failure.

Another negative is that there is no place for the “ego” when adopting the servant leadership style. Self-sacrifice is a common behavior for all servant leaders, and this may psychologically affect the leader if he sees himself in a difficult situation, and perhaps if he is in an environment that does not appreciate the sacrifice, he may find that This leadership style is unhelpful and he has stepped aside to save his life.

In general, many believe that when leaders turn their eyes and all their focus from the company to the employees, they will often produce skilled, talented, experienced employees with unquenchable enthusiasm, which in turn helps improve the management of the organization or the company in general.

Therefore, the concept of service leadership gained Its popularity is so huge that many high-ranking companies have adopted it in its working principles, and Google is one of the most important examples.

The company has even today adopted a policy of friendship between employees and leaders, and indeed, you can notice the positive results and high revenue of Google.

What is service leadership / Your team first then you- Is this how leadership is wise?


For those who like this leadership style: How to become a service leader?

According to Larry C. Spears; Former president of the Robert Greenleaf Center for Service Leadership, there are 10 distinguishing characteristics of a servant leader, which are:

A good listener

You will be a good servant leader when you make a deep commitment to listening to people attentively and understanding what they are saying. To become a good listener, give others your full attention (train focus), avoid interrupting them before they finish speaking, and notice their body language and try to understand it (See Learn a language article body), and finally, when it’s your turn, give your feedback on what they said, both positive and negative, with love and respect.

Sympathetic with a tendency to be overly empathetic

Empathy is understanding other people’s intentions and perspectives and trying to set aside your point of view at least temporarily to show excessive empathy in the situation, but on the other hand, you have to approach situations with an open and balanced mind.

When you show empathy to employees, you subconsciously approach them and show that you understand any situation, thus earning their trust.

Being a Healing Balm: Giving Employees Physical and Mental Support

It’s okay to get a little bit into each person’s personality and find out their level of emotional health. You must make sure that each of your employees has sufficient support to do his work effectively, and that the work environment in which he works is healthy, and if you encounter problems with some, you must take the necessary measures to help them feel happy, and reach the point where they can return Hopeful to work

To have a lot of self-awareness

Self-awareness means being able to look at yourself and think deeply about your emotions and behavior and how they affect the people around you. How do you become more aware of yourself? Simple: try to pay more attention to your strengths and weaknesses, and ask for the opinions of others in them, not to imitate anyone, but to develop strengths and try to manage weaknesses. Learn to manage your emotions, too, so that you can think about how your actions and behavior affect others.

Having the skill of persuasion

Servant leaders use persuasion rather than imposing decisions and using authority, to encourage people to think carefully and take action, thereby building consensus in groups, and then supporting the final decision by everyone. Of course, there are many tools that you can use to become a more persuasive person without damaging relationships or using manipulation to persuade.

To have a vision for the future

If you are a truly outstanding leader in your company, you must be a dreamer, dream big dreams and strive to achieve them by looking beyond daily actions and realities to the bigger picture, meaning you should not think about all situations and scrutinize every word that is not useful, Focus beyond the lines, making it clear to your team the long-term goals, to achieve the long-term goals without getting distracted.

Use analysis tools to check your instinct and insight

You can use analysis tools such as SWOT and PEST, as these tools help you have a clearer understanding of what will happen in the future, you can also use the ORAPAPA test, which highlights several things that must be taken into account as part of the process Decision making: (Opportunities), (Risks), (Alternatives and improvements), (Experience) (Analysis), (People) (Alignment and ethics), all for learning from experience and verification It considers all aspects before making any decision. Also learn to trust your intuition, what your foresight tells you.

Creative supervision

You are responsible for everything that happens in your company, the responsibility for the actions and performance of your team, and the role that this team plays in the company, so take your time to think about your values ​​and the values ​​that you want your organization to embody, you are the role model among your employees, so show the behaviors and values ​​that you want to Others in the company see it, and you have every right to stand up to employees when they act in a way that is not in line with your principles and without shame or hesitation.

Caring for the public interest before the private: the development of individuals and the building of society

As we have said, you must give your people their training and moral needs, and give them the skills they need to do their jobs effectively. Also, learn about, improve and reach their personal goals by giving them projects and responsibilities that will help them achieve them.

This certainly contributes to building the community, and you can contribute more by ensuring effective communication between individuals in the company: barbecues, organizing group parties, dedicating the first or last minutes of meetings to chat away from work… and others.

So, should the service leadership style be followed in leadership operations?

Of course, there are pros and cons to any leadership style, but some styles may be well suited to a driven work environment, and not others. For example: in a military environment, you can expect rigor and strict protocols at work. Here autocratic leadership is somewhat required. In a research organization, it is less organized but team innovation together is required. Service leadership is good.

The general situation of the organization must be studied from several aspects, and analyzed and scrutinized before deciding because the policy you will choose to lead the company in it will be the starting point, either to soar in the sky of successes or to move towards failure and failure.

What is service leadership / Your team first then you- Is this how leadership is wise?

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