Servant leaders enter leadership to first and foremost, serve. They do their best to create caring and just organisations and societies. With the organisation’s objectives at the top of mind, servant leaders align the goals of greater good and people’s wellbeing with the pursuit of profit and performance. Characteristics of servant leaders include: Empathy, Humility, Foresight, Stewardship, Awareness, Good Listening and Healing.
Servant leaders build bonds, engender trust, and strengthen team spirit. But that’s not all. They can pull in the figures too as these studies show:
||Pre-tax portfolio return
|Five hundred largest public corporations
|Eleven servant led companies
Findings from ten-year study (Sipe, J.W. and Frick, D.M., 2009).
||Return to Investors over 10 years
|Standard and Poor 500 companies
|Servant led companies
Findings from comparative study (Sipe, J.W. and Frick, D.M., 2009).
Turnover, Profit and Trust
In a 2012 qualitative study of 21 senior managers from 16 business organisations reported in the Business Studies Journal, the following results were obtained:
- Turnover is reduced – Many of the respondents said reduction in turnover and absenteeism as major factors which had a positive impact on organisation performance and employee satisfaction
- Profitability increases – various examples were given by respondents on how servant leadership affected financial position of organisation. Some mentioned how servant leadership led to reduced costs related to employee issues
- Trust develops and grows – respondents said that trust was a key component of employee growth and development. This trust was also seen as a catalyst to an ever-progressing and improving relationship with customers and the community
Meaning and Happiness
Servant leadership is a tremendously meaningful adventure. And as Kent Keith describes in "The Case for Servant Leadership", meaning is good for mental health and enables deep happiness. These are the true riches which servant leaders gain.
For the Greater Good
Because servant leaders care about various stakeholders, and especially care about how the weakest in society are affected by their decisions, people tend to thrive under their care.
In a time when our world is facing extreme turmoil, the need for servant leaders is urgent.