What Are Some Pros and Cons of Servant Leadership?

Servant leadership can build strong teams and establish strong relationships with workers. Conversely, servant leadership may not be useful because it is time intensive and contrary to the leadership philosophies of groups dependant on high degrees of structure and organization, states St. Thomas University.

Because servant leadership sees the big picture and emphasizes the leader’s obligation to serve her followers, it results in stronger bonds between the leader and her direct reports and engenders higher degrees of loyalty to the organization. Servant leadership produces trust in a team as power is shared and team members are spurred on toward professional development. Consequently, servant leadership engenders greater engagement among the whole team, reports St. Thomas University.

Still, in some organizations servant leadership may not align with the basic business structure. Some companies believe that servant leadership undermines a manager’s authority and projects the false impression that the manager’s primary duty is to satisfy employees rather than satisfy the needs of the organization. Additionally, many believe that servant leadership demotivates employees and creates an environment where employees are less productive because they know that the manager overlooks errors or does not hold them accountable for their poor performance. Lastly, some believe that servant leadership jeopardizes the separation required for leaders to develop a vision and direct others to fulfill that vision, according to the Houston Chronicle.