Servant Leadership Characteristics Of A Servant Leader

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In the broadest sense, a servant leader is one who leads others with the mindset of a servant. The primary motivation of a servant leader is to provide encouragement and facilitation in others by treating them as an ends in themselves rather than as a means to an ends. A servant leader values the people he or she leads by sharing power and enabling others to develop and flourish (Waterman, 2011).
Waterman’s (2011) study found the following:
The expression of servant leadership characteristics in service to others is putting other people first. Every leader should have a servant’s heart, show care and concern for others and be mentor minded, that is, have the desire and concern to build and develop others, even at his or her own expense. (p. 25)
While there are many characteristics that are central to the development of a servant leader, the three that stand out are respectfulness, selflessness, and commitment. “Respectfulness is defined as treating others as important people because they are important” (Hunter, 1998, p. 112). Every person has value and deserves respect. The servant leader can set the level of respect within the organization. Showing the same amount of respect to an assistant as you would an executive provides motivation and encouragement, therefore yielding a higher level of performance (Hunter, 1998).
“Selflessness is defined as meeting the needs of others even before your own” (Hunter, 1998, p. 116). Being selfless is necessary to serve others and lead
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