Across the spectrum of leadership styles, those which motivate employees to approach their work with a greater degree of enthusiasm produce some of the best organizational results. Workplace cultures that foster long-term company and mission commitments also help businesses to remain competitive, innovative and successful. Servant leadership is a contemporary approach to leadership that has shown itself to be a dynamic factor in producing the levels of motivation and enthusiasm that can bring a company to the leading edge of its field.
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, plays a significant role in a servant leader’s success. By remaining aware of how one’s personal behavior affects the behavior of others, the servant leader recognizes the value of emotional self-regulation. Through the visible display of high moral and ethical standards, the servant leader is able to lead others by example rather than by decree.
A fundamental factor in an effective servant leader’s EQ is the ability to listen well. This is not just a method of gaining insight into what others are thinking, it also displays a willingness to hear and understand what they have to say. This builds trust by demonstrating to employees that the leader cares about their concerns and needs.
Servant leaders act as mentors and encourage employee growth and development. They demonstrate a willingness to help their followers grow and become better individuals, both professionally and personally. Servant leaders make an effort to help their employees develop their full potential. They support both onsite and external training for their employees and will facilitate the implementation of new and improved company programs to help in skill and professional development.
Reward and empowerment are the preferred motivational tools of servant leaders. They understand that greater long-term results are achieved through positive reinforcement than by negative threat. Servant leaders do not rely on fear or domination to achieve results – they base their authority to lead on earned respect and their visible commitment to the greater good of the workplace community.
Servant leaders can see the big picture. They are not fixated on immediate goals and quick fixes; the long-term mission goal and the associated human factors are the greater priority. Servant leaders also surround themselves with people who can offer varying perspectives on a given situation so that they can get the broadest viewpoint possible.
Overall, an organization will benefit from a workplace culture that fosters positive motivation and employee enthusiasm. Innovation, teamwork and a willingness to go the extra mile represent valuable human assets for almost any type of organization.
Studies have shown that the servant leadership model has a positive effect on customer experiences; brand name loyalty is increased and customer ratings go up. This leadership model creates an environment in which ethical conduct and a high regard for others are dominant factors – a fact which does not go unnoticed by customers and company stakeholders.
In addition to producing a highly motivated workforce, the servant leadership model’s encouragement of employee development results in a knowledgeable, skilled and productive team. That alone can make a significantly positive impact on a company’s bottom line and reputation in the marketplace.