We’ve discussed servant leadership at length, showed you examples and introduced you to experts. But to truly understand the concept, we should really discuss the opposite of this leadership concept.
Leaders who use power as their main motivator, usually rely on negativism, fear and misdirection to guide or direct an organization the way they see fit. They typically are not collaborators or team players.
Power leaders tear down. They thrive in economic downturns because cutting, not adding, is what they do to shape an organization. By cutting budgets, costs and employees, they destroy morale, drain resources and reduce organizations to shells of themselves. They typically are short-term thinkers.
“Leadership is about vision and responsibility, not power.”—Seth Berkley
In the mirror, opposite the power leader, is a servant leader. Servant leaders build up, see downturns as opportunities, and do things up front and in a transparent fashion. To them, power is in the organization and its people and ideals, not in them.
The four elements of servant leadership are in direct opposition to power leadership:
- Servant leaders put service before leadership and are focused outwardly; power leaders are focused inwardly.
- Collaboration is central to servant leaders and relies on consideration of what others think; power leaders believe there is an “I” in team—them.
- Mentorship is important to servant leaders as it helps grow the team and the organization; power leaders believe all starts and ends with them.
- To be a servant leader, you must have foresight and that comes from listening; power leaders only listen to themselves.
Where do you begin to develop and build a culture of servant leadership? Start by looking within and taking stock of what you already have. And then consider enlisting the aid of a partner. We are here to help with skills assessments, systems and programs as well as one-on-one advice.
Call or contact us for more information on servant leadership.
The New Paradigm Advisors Team