Servant leadership is about making the world a better place as its objectives are focused on the greater good. The role of a servant leader is to help people achieve goals and make a difference in the lives of their people while impacting their organization.
The concept of servant leadership is broken down into two different types: strategic leadership and operational leadership. These two types of leadership are the strengths that make servant leadership whole. Strategic leadership establishes a clear vision, maintains values with that vision, and declares strategic imperatives that the organization needs to accomplish. Strategic leadership is about vision and the role of the direction aspect of leadership as it relates to servant leadership. Operational leadership is everything else. It includes procedures, policies, leader behaviors, or the “how” for the organization. Operational leadership is the implementation of the servant part of servant leadership.
Another positive impact of servant leadership is that it familiarizes with called leaders. Called people have servant hearts. They understand that their position is to shepherd everyone and everything that comes their way. They love feedback and understand that the only reason they are leading is to serve. Called leaders want to develop others and bring out the best in them. Servant leadership is also about choice. In today’s economy, people are looking for a deeper purpose in life and for principles that work. Servant leadership does work and is motivating to employees as they know they are being led from the heart rather than self-serving antics of their leader.
Demonstrated strengths with regard to the “servant leadership” is presented in the book Leading at a Higher Level. The applications for transferring the skills to everyday business practices are immense as they are relevant to how managers do and should lead their employees.
With the “strategic and operational” concepts being identified by the author, a leader must ensure their organizations know how, where, and why they are moving in a specific direction. It is a leader’s responsibility to ensure these concepts are applied to a company’s short term and long term planning. Without leaders being thoughtful in these areas, there is no purpose or direction.
Most leaders obtain their positions because of their drive and high level of achievement. It is important that as a manager is provided with opportunities to guide others that they are aware of the significance of their actions. Is the leader modeling behavior that is encouraging to their employees like praising a job well done as “called leader” would do? Does the manager represent the company’s mission and vision through actions and deeds like someone who is in a leadership position by “choice”? These are some of the questions a manager must ask themselves and the concepts they must apply as they strive to be “servant leaders”.