Servant Leadership: a Path to Empowering Team
I used to think that I was more of a transformation leader but always knew that there was more than what I really wanted to express myself and the theory of Servant Leadership caught my attention. The idea of being humble as a leader and to serve your subordinates is not an easy task but there are many benefits in being one. Greenleaf (1970) mention that “when leaders place their followers above their own interest, followers would genuinely see the leader as a role model and engage in appropriate behaviour.” To be able to create a genuine connection and have positive support with each other, I felt that this was one of the most ideal environments for anyone to be in.
Research made by Robert C. Liden at el (2014), in a store setting, shows that” servant leadership style is positively related to performance and furthermore because of the serving culture in the company, employees work by supporting one another to fulfil the customer’s need which helps to improve store performance too.” What I feel is the most important of being a servant leader is to make your teammates feel comfortable working together and one of the best methods is to understand one another and provide empathy. Based on Ashforth & Mael (1989), “the employees do learn and model after the behaviour of their leaders but at the same time have a sense of belonging at the place they work.” To be able to have people that wants to mimic you as their role model which will results in them striving to do their best for the company is something that is beneficial for both the employees and the company. I have always wanted to be a role model, someone to consult and confide in.
How it works
I have always believed that being a leader means to look after the team and always be the first line of approach be it in emotional or professional needs. Furthermore, based on the studies by Robert C. Liden at el (2014), they mentioned that “by having a strong sense of serving culture, it directly correlates to an increase in customer satisfaction as the employees would also serve the customer like how they serve one another.
The improvement I could make to become a good servant leader is on my patience in persuading. It is stated by Greenleaf (1977) that “the ability to persuade others takes patience and confidence for the others to believe that the leader’s way is the best approach to the situation.” I find myself lacking the patience to convince others that my way is the most optimal, but I know I do possess the knowledge and genuinely want to aid them. Because I strongly believe that when people are truly convinced they will understand the situation in a clearer light and would be more inclined to make the necessary changes and stick by them like what Greenleaf (1977) mentioned that “when the followers are convinced by their servant leaders, the changes they made are more enduring since the subordinates accepted the chances by their own.” I will improve myself by firstly taking my time to convince others as I understand convincing others is not simple, but it is something that is worth the time doing.
An example would be Howard Behar. According to an interview by Greenleaf (2015), Howard Behar mentioned that “ employee engagement was one of the steps of being successful and always believe that treating employees right would corelate to them treating customers” I felt that this statement was empowering as it helps to remove some form of formality and using values to inspire a positive mindset in others.