Due to an essay, he wrote in 1970 entitled “The Servant as Leader,” Robert Greenleaf has been credited for conceptualizing Servant Leadership.
This leadership philosophy is one in which individuals work together with others to gain influence and authority rather than control.
Greenleaf developed the concept after he witnessed two different kinds of leaders: those who were in it for others and those who were in it for themselves. Servant leadership in your business could empower employees and improve internal operations.
This type of leadership incorporates involving others meaningfully in fulfilling leadership responsibilities. Typically, this involves taking time to develop good listening skills, truly perceiving what others think and want to do themselves, and involving them significantly in the decision-making process.
Servant leadership is something that Bill Smith and Double Iron Consulting focuses on in his own business practices and when consulting other business owners, training them on how to lead their team members.
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Servant Leadership Defined
The focus of traditional leadership styles is on attaining control and power, while servant leadership focuses on ways a leader can play a supporting role for others. The goal of a servant leader is to provide workers with the skills and tools needed to be successful.
There are leadership styles that prioritize the wants and needs of one individual above those of anyone else. Practicing servant leadership involves focusing on bringing all workers into the decision-making process and promoting the accomplishments of all above the achievements of an individual.
What it Takes to Be an Effective Servant Leader
Any individual in charge and enthusiastic about putting in the effort to change habits has the capacity to assume a servant leadership position.
Some leaders may already be integrating principles of servant leadership without knowing it. An easy way to assess your position on becoming an effective servant leader is to begin with introspection.
Assess your focus on your own needs or take steps to listen to others. If you are having trouble assessing your business practices, business consultants like those at Double Iron Consulting can help.
If you listen to others and prioritize their ideas and needs, you are already actively practicing servant leadership.
Getting those skills refined through education and training will enhance your leadership approach, which could increase your business’s bottom line.
If the assessment reveals that you are concentrating more on your wants and needs, there is still the chance of shifting your mindset toward gaining servant leadership qualities. In your mission to become a servant leader, hard work is inevitable; however, the payoff will be ultimately worth it.
The Importance of Servant Leadership to Bill Smith and Double Iron Consulting
The founder of Double Iron Consulting, William Smith, takes pride in being a people-first leader. Having his start in a summer internship position at his family business, Royal Cup Coffee, William Smith is all too familiar with the difference leadership makes within an organization.
The Double Iron Consulting CEO began at the bottom in Royal Cup Coffee, roasting and packaging coffee, serving and selling coffee, and ended up working his way up through successive leadership roles.
Bill Smith has done it all, including leading his family’s business and continuing its growth and success with a national platform of sales, service, and operations.
Throughout this entire journey, he never left behind the sacred values of being a servant leader. William Smith is currently assisting businesses with scaling through his business consulting firm, Double Iron Consulting, founded in 2021.
As an expert in servant leadership, Bill Smith uses this leadership philosophy to develop his family business in his role of as CEO. Currently, he and his team of professionals also use it in their different roles at Double Iron Consulting.
This is because they see this leadership style as being important to running a successful business and maintaining morale among employees and clients.
The professionals at Double Iron Consulting operate successfully based on the characteristics of Servant Leadership highlighted below:
The ability to listen effectively to individuals and fully understand what they are attempting to say will assist leaders in taking care of people and making them feel valued.
Give individuals undivided attention, be more attentive to their nonverbal cues, provide them with responses and restrain yourself from interrupting them. These are slight moves that will assist you in improving your listening skills.
This has to do with the emotional well-being of others and entails providing physical and psychological support. Some team members might be coming from a workplace environment that was highly hostile. Servant leaders have the opportunity to help them to heal.
Ensure your team members have the tools and help required to perform their duties effectively. Promote a healthy work-life balance and foster a fulfilling workplace. Measures can also be taken to ensure members are engaged and happy in their positions.
In servant leadership, empathy essentially refers to getting to know individuals. Find out about their limitations and strengths and endeavor to understand the perspectives and motivations of others.
Additionally, you can put your perspective aside and become more empathetic by showing that you respect and appreciate the viewpoints of others.
This characteristic looks at oneself and contemplates emotions and behavior. It is also essential to evaluate how others are affected by your emotions.
Acknowledging your weaknesses and strengths can enable you to view more opportunities to leverage your team’s potential.
Servant leaders use persuasive communication instead of command to motivate and inspire individuals to act. Additionally, they work to accomplish a standard agreement so that team members can comply with the decisions made. When you are regarded as an expert, individuals are more likely to be receptive to following your lead.
This refers to your capacity to transform ideas into action or see the overall picture beyond daily dynamics. Develop robust corporate strategies in your company and create clear goals and a mission for your people. Developing long-term goals will keep all team members motivated and focused.
Foresight can be developed by revising lessons from past experiences, recognizing what is currently happening, and considering the implications of your decisions.