Ever hear the term servant leader? If you think about it, the two words really should cancel themselves out.
A servant is one who serves and a leader is one who usually gets served. That’s the traditional way things have always been.
The leader tells the masses what to do and they do it. But this is flawed thinking because an exceptional leader does the opposite.
Fortunately, the role of leadership has been redefined over the past several years and a true leader, who is looked upon to make things happen, does it with a servant leadership mentality.
What Is A Servant Leadership Mentality?
The term “servant leadership” was coined in 1970 by Robert K. Greenleaf in an essay he published titled, The Servant as a Leader.
In it, he says that when someone wants to serve (serve first) and puts serving ahead of anything else, that decision, in turn, creates a natural tendency to strive to achieve that goal.
This is much different from someone who comes from a place of leader first. Greenleaf explains that a person who craves power or looks for self-satisfaction in the acquiring of material things has that leader first mentality.
Those leaders with the serve first mentality are focused on meeting the needs of those who follow them. Their needs, not the leader’s, are a priority. It is through this leadership that people grow healthier, wiser and better equipped to go after their life’s desires.
6 Qualities of Servant Leadership
Servant leadership has qualities that are essential in helping the leader form lasting relationships, build stronger teams and therefore become successful. Here are 6 qualities of a servant leader:
Encouragement – A servant leader is encouraging. She knows how to encourage others. She has the ability to recognize when someone needs to be encouraged. Sometimes it can be a person’s past or his lack of confidence in himself. Maybe he has tried network marketing before and failed.
There can be a host of reasons why one would need encouragement but a servant leader can recognize the need and can fill it.
Always serving – With the “it’s about you, not me mindset”, the servant leader is geared toward helping and serving whenever he can.
Prospects come with various needs. A servant leader knows that his or her responsibility is to provide solutions to whatever problems prospects have. The servant leader does this sincerely and genuinely putting his needs or “wants” last. Never worrying about commissions or recognition, always there to help!
The Ability To “Sway” One’s Thinking – Servant leadership is never about telling anyone what to do. It’s never about using your authority.
It’s about knowing and understanding your audience, providing beneficial information, sharing stories and letting others take from what you provide that which resonates with them to make their own decisions.
Additionally, it is important to connect with them on an emotional level and modify your message to fit them. Being able to sway one’s thinking is another quality of servant leadership.
Be Humble – Always portray a side of you that does not give the impression that you are better than anyone. People want to feel respected and need understanding.
Remember where you came from and how you learned all what you know. People are at different levels and need someone they can identify with.
Always be willing to help. If you stay humble, you will be more successful in building trusting relationships.
Good Listener – the servant leader demonstrates good listening skills and listens to what others say – really listens. Many times it’s in what the person doesn’t say as well as what he does. People want to be heard. They have problems and issues and want to know that someone will take the time to listen.
Once you’ve heard their story, issue, concern or desire you are in a better position to share your expertise. This tells the prospect that you are a leader who cares, takes the time to listen and genuinely wants to help.
Foresight – Having the ability to learn from past experiences, what’s happening in the present and the likelihood of what will occur in the future is foresight and is another quality of a servant leader.
A leader is naturally more attuned to life’s experiences. This makes him best qualified to lead his followers in a way that they can make decisions more appropriate to their own needs. Just think of a child who wants to do something but the parent advises against it. The parent has been down that road before and knows the consequences of it. That is why he can tell the child no with an understanding of “why” the no.
Adopt A Servant Leadership Mentality
If you are a network marketer looking to position yourself as a leader in the marketplace, it would benefit you to adopt the servant leadership mentality. Showing people you care and are there to be of service is the best way to assure that position.
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