Servant Leadership: How leaders can put employees first

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Servant Leadership: How leaders can put their employees first


Servant Leadership: How leaders can put their employees first

By , May 11, 2020
servant leadership & employee ownership - succession plus

The term ‘servant leadership’ is often referred to by management consultants and also appears in some of the academic literature covering employee ownership. But it is often misunderstood. For me, the definition, originally outlined by Robert Greenleaf, can be summarised by six key ideas:

  1. Leadership is not about controlling people; it’s about caring for people and being a useful resource for people.
  2. Leadership is not about being a boss; it’s about being present for people and building a community at work.
  3. Leadership is not about holding onto territory; it’s about letting go of ego, bringing your spirit to work, being your best and most authentic self.
  4. Leadership is less concerned with pep talk’s and more concerned with creating a place in which people can do good work, can find meaning in their work, and bring their spirits to work.
  5. Leadership, like life, is largely a matter of paying attention.
  6. Leadership requires love.

Some well-known examples of servant leadership include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Mother Teresa.

To become a servant leader, you can start by working on the following 10 characteristics:

  • Listening.
  • Empathy.
  • Healing.
  • Awareness.
  • Persuasion.
  • Conceptualisation.
  • Foresight.
  • Stewardship.

As you can see above, the Servant Leadership philosophy appears to go hand in hand with employee ownership, building your people up for the betterment of not only themselves but the business they are working for. If you’d like to discuss implementing an employee ownership model into your business, please get in touch.

Craig West

Craig West

Managing Director | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.