In the servant leadership the interests of others are prioritized by a leader; this way, people have more opportunities for growth and development instead of merely completing tasks and orders issued by their leaders.
Servant leadership model opposes autocratic styles of leadership that presuppose ultimate control and strict observance and execution of all the instructions. Servant leadership is close to participatory leadership style: all the team members are equally involved in decision-making process, along with their leaders who might delegate some of their responsibilities. It means that hierarchical structure of workplace organization is not pertinent to servant leadership. This leadership style is different from all the “older” leadership theories, such as behavioral, situational, etc., to list a few. However, servant leadership might be associated with the recently introduced integrated theory of leadership. Indeed, the ten principles of servant leadership – listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community seem to integrate the best practices of people-centered approaches in leadership traditions (Greenleaf, 2014). Naturally, one’s desire to serve predetermines the use of servant leadership; servant leaders are concerned about the needs of others, their growth, development, and wellbeing of the whole community. Servant leadership has little in common with such leadership styles as the Great Man theory, trait theories, contingency, situational, management theories, but is similar to such models as relationship leadership style and participative leadership.
To summarize, servant leadership style appears to be one of the most progressive approaches that allow building honest and equal relationship with subordinates, where every opinion is valuable; in particular, this style is suitable for those areas, where helping people is of primary importance.
Greenleaf, R. (2014). Ten Principles of Servant Leadership – Butler University. Butler.edu.