How To Be A Servant Leader

How To Be A Servant Leader

Do you want to know how to be a servant leader?

There are different types of leaders

. The way they operate depends on the leadership style they choose.

All the types of leaders are effective in their own right. 

However, servant leaders are those leaders who choose to make use of the servant leadership style.

This style is effective and has several great benefits.

Our discussion will look at how one can be a servant leader and other critical related subtopics.

Hence, we advise that you carefully follow us as we do so.

We will start by taking a closer look at what servant leadership is.

What is Servant Leadership? – How to Be a Servant Leader

Who is a good example of a servant leader

Servant leadership is a leadership style whereby a leader puts the need of their followers or subordinates first.

As a result, they focus on the well-being and growth of their people above other things.

In this style of leadership, the leader’s goal is mainly to serve those under them.

A person who leads with this type of style is said to be a servant leader.

Common Characteristics of Servant Leaders – How to Be a Servant Leader

What a servant leader must do

To better identify who a servant leader is, we will share with you the typical characteristics of servant leaders.

They Appreciate and Value People’s Opinions

Servant leaders appreciate and value people’s various opinions.

As a result, they are willing to listen to someone else’s ideas and opinions concerning any situation or discussion.

They Build Trust – How to Be a Servant Leader

Servant leaders want their followers to be able to confide in them.

However, they know that people can only confide in someone they trust.

Hence, they ensure that they are leaders that are worthy of their follower’s trust.

They build trust between themselves and their followers.

This, in turn, helps them to have strong bonds with their followers.

They Assist People

Servant leaders build trust between themselves and their followers because they want to assist people.

They cannot assist their people when there is no trust.

Hence, once they have built trust with their followers, they set out to assist in any way they can.

Since they are all about the welfare and growth of their followers, they make sure that they are available at all times to help.

What makes a great servant leader

They Develop Leaders – How to Be a Servant Leader

As we earlier stated, servant leaders are interested in the growth of their followers.

Hence, they teach, train, and provide opportunities for their followers to become leaders.

They delegate and appoint people to be in charge of some responsibilities.

In other words, they are not the ones who lead at all times.

They Think of the Future

Servant leaders are future-minded.

That is, they think of the future and deem it more important than the present.

Hence, they make decisions that the future will benefit from.

They are Humble

One core quality of servant leaders is humility.

Most times, you cannot distinguish them from their followers because they act as a follower.

These leaders do not think they are better than others; instead, they care for their people.

They Encourage their Followers – How to Be a Servant Leader

True servant leaders are encouragers.

They are there to encourage their followers to be the best they can be in all aspects of their lives.

Servant leaders ensure that they are there to support and encourage their followers when needed.

Furthermore, they also encourage their followers to think for themselves and be capable of coming up with ideas.

They Persuade

While some leaders are dictators, servant leaders are persuaders.

They do not force their idea and plans on their followers; instead, they use a persuasive approach to get them to agree with them.

Principles of Servant Leadership – How to Be a Servant Leader

What is the mindset of a servant leader

To be a good servant leader, you need to know the principles of servant leadership.

Below are the principles of servant leadership:


Self-awareness is the ability to be aware of the different aspects of one’s self, such as behaviors, feelings, and traits.

When a person is self-aware, it will enable them to recognize or identify their weakness and strength.

This, in turn, will help them to find ways to minimize their weakness and develop techniques to maximize their strength.

A person who wants to adopt the servant leadership style needs to be self-aware.

This is because servant leaders lead by example, and if they cannot recognize their weaknesses and strength, they won’t be able to help their followers.

However, when they are self-aware, they will know how to fit in and help their people.

Empathy – How to Be a Servant Leader

Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s emotions.

Since the followers are essential in the servant leadership style, a servant leader needs to be empathic.

You cannot help or train people if you cannot understand their feelings.


As we earlier stated, servant leaders persuade and do not dictate.

You cannot be called a servant leader if you dictate to your followers.

However, persuasion can be used to get your followers to agree with you.

For instance, when there is a disagreement, a servant leader can persuade everybody to agree on the same thing.

How can I be a servant

Listening – How to Be a Servant Leader

True servant leaders are willing and ready to listen to their followers.

If they do not, they cannot build trust with them, and neither will they be able to help them grow.

Hence, listening is an essential principle of servant leadership.


As we earlier stated, servant leaders are future-minded.

Hence, foresight is an important principle of servant leadership.

This is because it helps leaders know what will be needed for the future and work towards it.

Conceptualization – How to Be a Servant Leader

Conceptualization is the process or action of forming an idea or concept of something.

It is an essential principle of servant leadership that enables leaders to come up with a clear picture of situations.

This helps such leaders conceptualize plans that will help their follower growth and goal achievement.

Commitment to People’s Growth

Another vital principle of servant leadership is a commitment to people’s growth.

As we earlier stated, true servant leaders focus on their people’s well-being and growth.

Hence, anyone who wants to be a servant leader should be ready to invest their resources and time to ensure that their followers grow

Stewardship – How to Be a Servant Leader

The principle of stewardship enables servant-leaders to understand and know the importance of the position they hold.

Hence, they ensure that they take responsibility by protecting and upholding the confidence and trust of their followers.

To be a true servant leader, a person will have to understand their responsibility and take it seriously.

Benefits of Servant Leadership Style – How to Be a Servant Leader

benefits of servant leadership

If you are wondering if there is any benefit from being a servant leader, the answer is yes.

We will share these benefits to inspire you to see that being a servant leader can be great.

Below are the benefits of servant leadership style:

Follower’s Loyalty, Trust, and Commitment

Servant leadership prompts the loyalty, trust, and commitment of followers.

This is because the followers see and know that their leader works more for the benefit of others than themselves.

Additionally, this style of leadership gives a voice to the follower.

As a result, the followers develop respect for their leader, which becomes loyalty, trust, and commitment.

Stronger Team – How to Be a Servant Leader

Since the followers or team members can relate to and trust their leader, they see them as their role models.

This frequently makes it easy for them to accept their individual and collective duties.

Their acceptance, in turn, helps them to work and collaborate better.

This consequently produces a more robust team or workforce.

Faster Development and Learning

When followers become better at what they do, the work will be easier for both the leader and the followers.

Hence, every great leader desires their follower’s growth.

Servant leadership fosters the growth of the followers and increases the speed at which the growth comes.

Fosters a Feeling of Belonging – How to Be a Servant Leader

With servant leadership, the leaders value, appreciate, and recognize every member individually.

This makes the members have a feeling of belonging.

In turn, it makes them more committed to their duties.

Conducive Work Environment

Servant leadership style helps to create a conducive work environment.

This is because the interactions between leaders and followers and between followers are positive.

Everybody supports the leader and is ready to perform their duties effectively to achieve their common goal.

Increases Organizational Agility – How to Be a Servant Leader

Organizational agility is the ability of an organization to meet the rapid demand changes of customers.

For an organization to meet the rapid demand changes of its customers, it needs to respond quickly to those changes.

An organization that has to wait for the leader to do all e.g develop the idea, or make the decision will lag.

This is because the leader is human and cannot meet up with all those changes.

Hence, the members of such organizations should contribute by making decisions, taking responsibilities with or without the leader.

However, when the members do not have the necessary skill or support of their leader, the organization will still lag.

An organization that has a servant leader will train, encourage, and support its members to be skilled enough to handle their part in making the organization effective.

Consequently, this increases organizational agility.

Develop New Leaders

Servant leadership helps to develop and train new leaders.

These leaders will, in turn use their ability to ensure that the organization reaches its goals.

Tips on How to Be a Servant Leader – How to Be a Servant Leader

How do you get a servant attitude

You can be an effective servant leader when you practice the tips we will share with you.

These tips will make you focus on your character and build characters that make a great servant leader.             

Below are tips on how to be a servant leader:

Develop Empathy

As we earlier mentioned, empathy is an essential principle of servant leadership.

Hence, you need to develop empathy to be a servant leader.

Some strategies that can help you develop empathy include:

  • Cultivating Curiosity
  • Putting yourself in other people’s position or situation
  • Leaving your comfort zone
  • Studying your biases
  • Asking and receiving feedback

Practice these strategies continuously, and over time you will develop empathy.

Be More Self-aware

As a leader, you need to know and understand your weakness and strength.

This will help you to know where to work on and become a better version of yourself.

When you know your limitations and make yourself better, you will help and lead your followers effectively.

Hence, you need to be more self-aware.

Some ways to be more self-aware are:

  • Study yourself objectively
  • Have a journal where you can write things about yourself
  • Daily reflect on yourself

The more you do this, the more self-aware you will become.

What it means to be a servant leader

Improve Your Communication Skills

Every leader has to know how to communicate effectively with their followers.

However, it is more critical for servant leaders.

This is because you cannot get the best out of people when you cannot communicate effectively.

To be a servant leader who communicates effectively with their followers, you need to improve your communication skills.

You can improve your communication skills by:

  • Actively listening
  • Knowing your listeners or readers
  • Understanding body language sign
  • Thinking before speaking or writing
  • Respecting people when communicating

Learn To Be Persuasive – How to Be a Servant Leader

As we earlier stated, servant leaders, do not dictate but persuade.

Persuasion is not the same as manipulation.

Hence, a servant leader can persuade and still allow their followers to have their opinions.

Since servant leaders do not dictate, you have to learn how to be persuasive.

To do this, you need to develop persuasion skills.

Some ways to develop persuasion skills are:

  • Understand the interest of your followers
  • Build relationships based on respect and trust
  • Connect emotionally with your followers
  • Be prepared at all times: Have all the relevant information
  • Establish your trustworthiness

Check here to discover why persuasion is essential for entrepreneurs.

Be Selfless

Servant leadership’s primary concern is about other people.

In other words, it is mainly concerned about the welfare and growth of followers and not the leader.

Hence, if you want to be a servant leader, you have to be selfless

Selflessness is putting the need of others above yours.

When you are selfless, you will find it easy to focus on your followers before yourself.

So, learn to show kindness and think of other people before doing anything.

Be a Good Listener – How to Be a Servant Leader

You cannot be a good servant leader if you are not a good listener.

In other words, you need to be a good listener, so that you can know how to help your followers and get the best out of them.

Additionally, listening to your followers will help you understand their perspectives, ideas, and opinions.

You can work on being a good listener by:

  • Paying close attention to people when they are speaking and when they are not.
  • Asking more questions
  • Repeating what people say when communicating
  • Waiting till someone finishes talking before responding

Ensure that you listen to people because you want to learn and understand what they are saying and not because you want to be polite.

Ways to Apply Servant Leadership in a Work Setting – How to Be a Servant Leader

What qualities of those servant leaders you mentioned you like best

Yes, there are ways you can apply servant leadership in the workplace.

Here are a few of them:

Be a Role Model

A role model is someone that other people see as an example to copy.

When you are a role model, you lead people with the way you behave or do things.

Servant leaders are role models.

They are people who work together with their followers to achieve goals.

As a result, they are not scared to do minor or lesser jobs.

So, instead of staying put in your office all day, come out sometimes and join your employees in doing some of their jobs.

Show them that their jobs are vital to the survival of the company or organization.

Build Trust – How to a Servant Leader

You can apply servant leadership in your organization by building trust with your employees.

This can be done by communicating effectively, being helpful to people, and showing that you care about your employees.

Continuous Growth – How to Be a Servant Leader

Servant leaders desire for their followers to become better.

Hence, they continuously work for their growth by training, teaching, encouraging, and giving them opportunities to be leaders.

This can be done for your employees, too; teach, train, encourage and give them opportunities to act as leaders.

You can start by delegating tasks to them.

Conclusion on How to Be a Servant Leader

What is the role of a servant

Being a servant leader takes a significant level of selflessness.

Hence, if you want to be a servant leader, you have to be ready to put your followers first.

Be assured that if you practice the tips we provided, you will become a great servant leader.