Executive Leadership Styles №3: Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is a unique approach to executive leadership that prioritizes the growth and well-being of those being served, rather than the leader’s own power or authority. It’s about empowering others to succeed and fostering a collaborative environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Servant leaders prioritize the needs of their team members and focus on serving and supporting them. This executive leadership style emphasizes empathy, collaboration, and trust-building. Furthermore, organizations operated by servant leaders ensure those joining in fulfilling the business’s endeavors align with the company’s core values.

The Example Leaders of Servant Executive Leadership:

Executive leadership: John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market
Executive leadership: Cheryl Bachelder, former CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Cheryl Bachelder, former CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Executive leadership: John C. Maxwell, Co-founder of EQUIP® and author of 5 Levels of Leadership
John C. Maxwell, Co-founder of EQUIP® and author of 5 Levels of Leadership

5 Attributes of a Servant Executive Leadership: 

  • They lead to serve  others.
  • Naturally develops a following.
  • Calls others to join their cause or mission.
  • Practices altruism.
  • Is a strong positive influence on people’s lives.

Potential Weaknesses of a Servant Executive Leadership: 

Rather than lead with force, those who practice this style gain followers by being a positive influence. While people can work on servant leadership skills, they must have the heart for it. For instance, out of all the leadership styles, those who are money-driven, or egocentric will find this particular one impossible to authentically implement. 

Additionally, they must be careful to keep a balance between serving others and taking care of themselves. Without the latter, burnout can quickly ensue, thus affecting the company and its people in a variety of negative ways.

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1 Comment

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