Whether you’re a manager, CEO, or communicating with coworkers, it is always important to lead by example.
There are many kinds of leadership styles—depending on your team and your personality, different styles might work better for you. No matter what your leadership looks like, remember that it is never a one-size-fits-all approach.
What is Servant Leadership
Servant leadership might seem like a simple concept, but it is often difficult to execute. Servant leadership requires selflessness in the workplace— like the term suggests, being a servant leader means you serve first and lead second.
The traditional leadership model has always been a top-down approach, where the leader sits at the top of the pyramid and directs those farther down the pyramid. With the servant leader approach, the leader puts others first, determines their growth needs, utilizes their strengths, and aligns their team’s sense of purpose with the company mission, vision, values, and goals.
Characteristics of Servant Leadership
Being a servant leader sounds great, but how you do you become a servant leader? Servant leadership requires five key traits: humility, trust, care, and listening to and valuing others.
- Value your people. The first step to being a servant leader is to value the people you work with— value what they do and who they are.
- Show humility. A servant leader is someone who always puts others first and stays humble, knowing that success comes from an entire team, not just one person at the top.
- Be willing to listen. Listen without judgement and be receptive to feedback and ideas. A strong servant leader leads by listening and understanding the people around them.
- Give trust to others. One of the most important aspects of being a servant leader is truly trusting the people you work with— take the risk for the people you serve and be someone your team can trust and depend on.
- Care for others. Just like the phrase implies, servant leaders are there to serve, not to be served— care for your people, their goals, and their challenges.
Adopting these traits is easier said than done. Remember that being a servant leader requires authenticity, which means walking the walk.
Developing a Growth Mindset as a Servant Leader
For any leader, having a growth mindset and forward thinking is often key to improvement. Whether you are completing everyday tasks or bigger projects and initiatives, put your energy into learning, empowering the people around you, and committing to your people and purpose.
Here are a few ways you can develop a growth mindset as a servant leader:
- Foster positive dialogue to encourage better attitudes, problem solving, and outlooks.
- Use challenges as opportunities and use your failure and setbacks as opportunities to learn.
- Abandon perfectionism and focus on the process—make perfectionism the destination instead of the goal.
- Step out of your comfort zone and step into new ways of thinking for out of the box ideas and a fresh perspective.
- Strive for constant improvement instead of trying to prove yourself and leave room for you and your team to develop.
Creating a growth mindset while being a servant leader will encourage the people around you to learn, grow, and model their own leadership and communication style after yours.
Servant Leadership Culture at Kodiak Building Partners
At Kodiak Building Partners, we believe in displaying servant leadership at every level of our organization and offering opportunities for our teams to use their strengths and grow in their careers. Kodiak is involved in several initiatives to serve others inside and outside of the company including the Employee Assistance Fund, Kodiak Foundation, North Star, Rising Star, and more to invest in our greatest asset: our team.