What Are the Basic Principles of Servant Leadership?

The basic principles of servant leadership are listening, empathy, healing, awareness and persuasion. Others are conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, building community and commitment to the growth of people. Greenleaf defines servant leadership as wanting to serve first to ensure other people’s highest priorities are being served. In a business situation, a servant leader puts the interests of customers and employees first.

Foresight helps in identifying problems and implementing workable solutions based on lessons learned in the past before to avert future problems. Servant leaders work towards achieving the goals and visions of an organization by bringing people together through persuasion.

Listening to others enables a servant leader to identify and clarify the overall objective of a group. A servant leader practices empathy and assumes the good intentions of coworkers even when their behavior or performance is wanting. A servant leader also recognizes that people have intrinsic value beyond their usual contribution at the workplace, thus the commitment to see a personal, professional and spiritual growth of coworkers.

Finally, a servant leader is a steward; this means holding the organization in trust for the greater good of the society. This principle enables the servant leader to identify ways of improving the community.