Berger Leadership Blog

Feb 23, 2018

A rare, successful leadership style worth adopting

Leadership (2)

Servant leadership. It is a style of leadership we've all heard of, but what exactly does it mean?

Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, sums it up with words from leadership expert Ken Blanchard: "Servant leadership is love in action."

Schwantes goes on to explain what this means in the business world.

- Love in the business sense. "Crossing over from a traditional management mindset of power and control over others to a servant leadership mindset of love requires full admission that you are there to meet the needs of others before your own; it requires the lucid understanding on a visceral level that your role is to grow people and set them up for success," he writes.

- Leadership love expressed through empathy and compassion. When a leader is pouring into and caring for others, it creates room to respond with empathy and compassion when hardships occur. In the business world, "feeling what another person feels brings both leader and follower closer and trust develops for a competitive advantage," Schwantes says.

Schwantes concludes his post by sharing an excerpt from a study included in the Oxford Handbook:

"Organizations characterized by higher levels of compassion and forgiveness were much less likely to experience [negative attributes] associated with downsizing than were other firms. These results also confirmed that when virtuousness exists in organizations, organizational performance increases. Innovation, customer retention, profitability, quality, and less employee turnover were all positively associated with virtuousness."

Lucky for us, servant leadership is a mindset - meaning it can be adopted and put into practice by everyone. Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).