How to create more servant leaders should be on the minds of every leader. By creating more servant leaders, you help produce leaders who are leading because they have a desire to help and influence others. That’s a goal worth striving for!
However, how does one create more servant leaders? The workplace is filled with people who want to look out for number one, numero uno, their own bacon. It can be hard to find up-and-coming leaders who truly want to serve others. But you can find and help create the next generation of servant leaders.
What Is Servant Leadership?
Servant leadership is a model of leadership lived out by many leaders throughout history. Lao-Tzu, in Tao Te Ching, describes servant leadership. Jesus Christ lived the life of a servant leader. Mother Theresa gave her life serving others and found herself hailed as a leader.
Servant leadership isn’t a new leadership concept. Rather, servant leadership seems to be an age-old concept. One that is viewed as the best type of leadership.
But what exactly is servant leadership?
Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term in his essay The Servant As Leader. In The Servant As Leader, Greenleaf wrote:
The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions… The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.
From that, you can see a servant leader is someone who naturally wants to serve. Serve others, serve the world. Their choice to serve inspires them to lead so they can help those they will lead. They know they can serve others by pulling others up and along with them.
The Key To Creating More Servant Leaders
I know you. I know why you’re reading this blog. You want to become a better leader. Not so you have more power or to lord over others. Rather, you want to lead so you can serve those you’re leading. YOU want to HELP others become better. You’re already or are on the path to becoming a great servant leader.
But how do you create more servant leaders? That’s a great question to ask.
You create more servant leaders by:
Explaining why serving is good:
Your words can change the direction of a person heading in the leader-first (someone who places themselves, as the leader, first) direction by talking about servant leadership. You can explain to your team WHY being a servant leader is better than a leader-first leader.
Tell them about the lives that have been changed because of leaders who put others first. Who sought out ways to help others.
When people begin hearing the concept of servant leadership, they’ll become interested in becoming one.
Showing the results of servant leadership:
After explaining why servant leadership is good, you need to show the results of servant leadership. For me, I look at the youth ministries I’ve served on.
You give your all for the students, not so you can be exalted, but so the students have a brighter future, a hope. Your time is no longer your own. Your effort is no longer your own.
You’re serving the students. And you’re hoping for life change.
When lives are changed in youth ministry, the world changes. These students who may have been going down a dead-end road, now have a positive direction to head in.
Show those who are looking to lead the results of your servant leadership. Let them know servant leadership changes lives.
Being a servant leader:
The last key to creating more servant leaders I want to share is to be a servant leader yourself.
I don’t believe there’s a greater way to influence someone to become a servant leader than to be one. When people see you walking the walk and talking the talk, they know you’re the real deal. They also know you care.
Not only that, those you’re leading will see servant leadership works. And they’ll want to emulate you.
Create more servant leaders by being a servant leader.