Discover the power of servant leadership in our latest blog. Explore what servant leadership is and why it’s the key to fostering positive change in our organisations and communities. Learn why we need more of this transformative leadership style for a brighter, more compassionate future.

Ryno Zeelie

Ryno Zeelie

Head of Learning and Development

Servant Leadership

While servant leadership is a timeless concept, the phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, Greenleaf said:

Servant Leadership quote
Servant Leadership quote 2

Servant leadership is a leadership approach that focuses on serving the needs of the team or organisation rather than on exerting power or authority over others. The servant leader prioritises their team members’ growth and development and creates a positive and supportive work environment. This approach is based on the idea that by putting the needs of others first, the leader can create a more engaged, motivated, and productive team.

Servant leadership principals

The servant leader’s ultimate goal is to help the team or organisation reach its full potential. This approach is believed to lead to more effective and efficient teams and is suitable for a wide range of organisations, including businesses, non-profits, and government agencies.

Focus

Traditional leadership approaches focus on the leader’s power and authority, while servant leadership prioritises the growth and development of the team or organization.

Traditional leadership involves the leader’s accumulation and exercise of power, while servant leadership is characterised by sharing power and the leader putting the team or organization’s needs first.

Power Dynamics
Decision Making

In traditional leadership, decisions are often made by the leader alone, while in servant leadership, the leader works to empower and involve team members in decision-making.

Traditional leadership often involves a hierarchical relationship between the leader and the team. In contrast, servant leadership is characterised by a more egalitarian relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

Relationship with team members
Goal

Traditional leadership often focuses on achieving the leader’s goals and objectives, while servant leadership focuses on helping the team or organisation reach its full potential.

Traditional leadership approach is to command and control, while servant leadership approach is to support and enable.

Approach
Role of leader

In traditional leadership, the leader’s role is to direct and control the team, while in servant leadership, the leader’s role is to serve and support the team.

It’s time to turn your organisation chart around!

Servant Leadership Model

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