Although, many, in positions of leadership, claim, to be, servant leaders, unfortunately, very few of them, actually, are! This status requires a combination of behaviors, attitude, and actions, which align, properly, in order to make a difference, for the better, for their stakeholders/ constituents (past, present, and potential ones), as well as the organization, they are supposed to serve, and represent! It requires an adherence, to the philosophy, of putting others, first, and doing, whatever, possible, to effectively, lead, them, in a relevant, sustainable manner! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 essential requirements, of servant leadership.
1. Put others first!: Unless/ until, you are, consistently, ready, willing, and able, to put others, first, instead of simply, your personal/ political agenda, and/ or, self – interest, you will never, fulfill, the duties and requirements, of being, a servant leader! This requires, a commitment, and the discipline, to effectively listen, learn, and better understand, the needs, goals, priorities, wishes, and perceptions, of those, you are leading! It requires, consistently, having a positive attitude, combined with the aptitude/ skill – set, which focuses, on what, will most benefit, others, both, in a relevant, and sustainable manner!
2. Absolute integrity: Either, one maintains genuine integrity, all the time, or his lack of absolute commitment to it, won’t effectively, help others, optimally! At times, doing so, may be simple, but the true measure of a quality, real leaders, is whether he maintains this discipline, and behavior, when a path of least resistance, may be tempting, and he believes, no one will know!
3. Genuine empathy: Empathy and sympathy, are not the same! While the latter, means, feeling sorry for someone/ something, the former, requires, putting yourself, in someone else’s place! Empathetic leadership requires, consistent. effective listening (especially, when tempted, to speak), and learning from every conversation, and experience, and proceeding, with the level of service, and expertise, that addresses these needs, with genuine empathy!
4. Serve and represent: To be, an authentic, servant leader, requires, one, to emphasize, serving and representing others, even if it doesn’t, fit – neatly, into your perceived, self – interest! The previous, three traits, are essential, pre – requisites, for proceeding, with this type of meaningful leading!
5. Relevant and sustainable/ not populist: Instead of, proceeding, in a populist way, simply, saying, and/ or, doing, whatever, seems popular, etc, a servant leader must, consistently, proceed in a relevant, sustainable way, which addresses the group, and stakeholders needs, and true priorities!
If you really, want to be a servant leader, you can’t, just, go, through the motions, but, rather, must commit to the about, five items, and more! This type of leading requires significant commitment, discipline, meaningful principles, ethics, and integrity! Do you have, what it takes, to be up, to these tasks?
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