9 Servant Leadership Characteristics To Have As A Leader

Have you ever wondered how some leaders have that incredible ability to draw a room and get their group to agree?

At first glance, it is easy to attribute their success to their charismatic personalities or their incredible ability to present a clear and concise vision. But if you take a closer look, you’ll realize that the only thing that sets them apart from the rest is their servant leadership.

These leaders have a deep understanding of what it means to serve their team, and they use that knowledge to build a community dedicated to achieving greatness, inclusion, and respect. . What makes them great is their willingness to put the needs of the team above their own.

Now, you might think servant leadership is simple, but it’s actually quite complicated. And it’s not just a nice person.

What exactly is servant leadership?

Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices based on the belief that the most effective way to lead is to serve others. That means taking the time to get to know and understand the needs of all your team members — and that takes time and intention.

That is hard work. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it can have a profound effect on your team’s morale, performance, and overall success.

To get you started on your journey to becoming a servant leader, here are 9 servant leadership traits that all great leaders have.

1. They are self-aware

Servant leaders know who they are — their strengths, their weaknesses, and how their actions affect those around them. When leaders take the time to understand themselves and examine their own behavior, they can spot their blind spots and act when needed.

Self-awareness is a gift, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It’s not easy to look at yourself in the mirror and purposefully find your strengths and weaknesses. But it is an important part of servant leadership.

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One of the best tools to help you become more self-aware is the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This personality test will help you understand how you see the world and make decisions, and show you how your personality can be an obstacle and help in your leadership role.

2. They are good communicators

Servant leaders know the importance of communication. They understand that it is more than just giving orders or broadcasting information. It is also about listening.

This is why if you want to build lasting relationships with your team, you must take the time to listen and learn about their needs and goals. Communication is a conversation, which means people need to feel heard before they’re ready to listen to your opinion.

If you’re willing to check in with your team on a daily, or even weekly, basis and engage with purpose, you’ll find that your company becomes a thriving community. And one of the first steps to building a solid community is communication.

3. They are Humble

Humble servant leaders. They understand that putting others first is fundamental to their company’s success. This is why some of the top CEOs of Fortune 500 companies argue that an open door policy is needed.

An open policy lets your team know that you’re approachable and that you value their input. It’s also a way to build trust – essential for any strong relationship.

While an open door policy is one way to show your team that you’re humble, it’s not the only way.

You can also model humility by being vulnerable and creating an environment where you can make mistakes. After all, when your team sees your failure, they’ll be more likely to take risks and innovate.

4. They are visionaries

Servant leaders are always looking to the future. They see potential in their team and company, and they are always trying to find ways to help their team members grow and develop.

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Like humility, these leaders allow themselves and their teams to thrive. And they understand that growth can only happen when people feel they are allowed to progress without the burden of perfection.

One of the best ways to cultivate a growth mindset in your team is to give them the opportunity to rise. This can be done through cross-training or letting them lead a project on their own.

People need space to dream about “what if” and “what could happen”.

So if you want your company to move forward, try giving them the reins and allowing them to explore — even if they make a few mistakes along the way.

5. They appreciate feedback

Servant leaders capture feedback. They don’t squirm or avoid confrontation. If anything, they crave difference. This is because they know that feedback, whether positive or negative, is essential to growth.

Honestly, it’s not always easy to hear what people think of you and your leadership. But it’s important to remember that hearing your group’s thoughts and ideas is a gift. It’s a tool that gives you the opportunity to improve and build on your leadership skills.

One of the best ways to get started with feedback is to simply ask your team to share some ideas with you. You can create an anonymous Google Form, set up a suggestion box somewhere in your office, or even send your Calendly link and encourage people to book directly with you.

There are many ways to gather feedback, but the most important part is that you take the time to listen and then act on what you hear. After all, it’s not just about being a good listener.

Your team wants to feel heard, and that means putting their recommendations into action.

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6. They lead by example

Servant leaders lead by example. They start the talk and don’t ask their group to do anything that they themselves wouldn’t be willing to do.

Remember: The best leaders aren’t perfect – they’re just authentic.

If you want your team to respect you, be transparent and honest with them and show them what it feels like to get to the top even when the journey is tough.

This doesn’t mean you need to share all your personal details with your team or always have an open book. But it does mean that you should be authentic and vulnerable where appropriate. Doing so will help build trust and respect between you and your team.

7. They don’t micromanage

Servant leaders are good at delegating. They know they can’t do everything alone, and they’re not afraid to ask for help.

When faced with a problem that isn’t in their inventory, they quickly hand it over to someone on their team who is better equipped to handle it. This is why servant leadership is not about receiving praise. If anything, it’s about giving your team a chance to shine.

So if you’re a leader used to micromanaging, it’s time to let go and give your team a chance to advance and show you what they’re made of. Not only do they appreciate the freedom to try new things and figure things out independently, but they also bring confidence to the office as they tackle their next project.

8. They are always learning

Servant leaders do not have all the answers. And in many ways, they don’t even try.

Great leaders understand that it’s not all about knowing everything. It’s about curiosity and a willingness to learn.

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One of the best ways to foster a love of learning in your team is to create an environment that is encouraging. This can be done by submitting articles, books, or podcasts that you think they will be interested in.

Another idea is to give people an annual membership to Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, or Skillshare.

When you prioritize learning, your team will feel comfortable asking more questions and facing the workday with a teachable attitude.

However, the culture of learning must start with you. Once employees see you invested in your education, they’ll be more likely to follow your lead.

9. They focus on the long game.

Servant leaders focused on the long battle. They know that greatness doesn’t happen overnight and that success is a marathon, not a sprint.

This means they are always looking for ways to improve their team’s skill sets and help them grow in their careers. Whether it’s investing in their education, sending them to conferences, or connecting them with a mentor, they’re always thinking about how they can help their team reach their full potential.

Servant leaders understand that when their team succeeds, so does the company.


Servant leadership is more than just giving orders and being the boss. It’s about putting your team first, listening to their needs, and helping them grow.

By embodying these nine servant leadership traits, you can become a better leader for your team and help your business reach new heights.

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Featured photo credit: Mapbox via unsplash.com

https://www.lifehack.org/922631/servant-leadership 9 Servant Leadership Characteristics To Have As A Leader

Sarah Ridley

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