The 5 Factors that make a Servant Leader

servant leader

What makes a leader a great servant? That’s just it. The best leaders are the humblest of servants. Here is five characteristics these noble men of valor exhibit:

1. “Generosity is giving more than you can.” Khalil Gibran. The essence of any servant is generosity. To lead is to serve, and to any servant abides by this concept more than any other. Service is sacrifice. The greatest sacrifice is giving everything you have, without expecting anything in return. A leader puts his crew before himself, even if he is expended in the process. He furnishes himself last and first ensures his comrades are cared for and compensated. In many occasions, a true servant leader will suffer as a result of his devotion to the people he commands. The most hallowed chiefs give more than they can ever offer.

2. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, its thinking of yourself less” – C.S Lewis. Any act of service, requires great humility. Swallowing your pride and quelling your ego are a huge part of any leadership role. This also entails: acknowledgment of fault and accepting ideas from a subordinate. Humility is the ability to know that you are not always correct. A modest person is willing to take a suggestion that may be more fruitful from someone of a lower rank than them. Another key concept to being a servant leader, is not expecting to be the loudest in the room. A true leader listens and minds their tongue until it is proper for them to speak.

3. “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world” – Albert Camus. Humility and generosity are two of many ethical codes, leaders abide by. No one can spearhead an army, if they have no platform to stand upon. The foundation of successful leadership is ethics. All great servant leaders adhere to a code of honor and valor. Some of these ethics are honesty, diligence and persistence. Also, many who excel as dignified minions consider the thoughts, feelings and overall mindset of their cohorts. Scruples and integrity are integral. Any man or woman who takes charge for their own selfish ambitions, is not a leader but a tyrant. The ends do not justify the means.

4. “People protect what they love” – Jacques Cousteau. A servant leader is determined to protect their own from harm even if it means they will “bite the bullet”. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, despite the fact he was hailed as their king. This has no bearing to a servant leader. Any true administrator knows they are nothing without the people who serve them. As a result, the greatest servant leaders are willing to protect these people at all costs.

5. “Blessed are the upright” – Jesus. A servant leader is virtuous in nature. They uphold the vows they take and don’t make promises they can’t keep. Their word is all they have and action is a mechanism to deliver. This means, that even if they are expendable to the cause…they will gladly do whatever it takes to keep a promise and hold their word. This ties back in to the previous four concepts of ethics, humility, generosity and protection. A virtuous servant does not reject ethics or act hastily. Their will to be generous and protective fosters their drive to be virtuous to the people they lead. This is not an idea that will be compromised by their standards.

Any true servant leader exudes these five characteristics. If your desire is to serve effectively, then be a humble, protective, virtuous, generous and ethical human being. These uncanny traits will make you most effective in any leadership role.