servant leadership

Servant leadership: Definition, pros and cons

When it comes to leadership, there are different styles that can be used in the workplace. Servant leadership is a style that can help you build strong teams with members who are personally and professionally satisfied and who contribute high-quality work that helps your company succeed. A good objective of this leadership is to help those who are doing poorly do well and to help those who are doing well do even better. Thus, in this article, we’ll be discussing the following:

  • What is servant leadership?
  • What is the principle of servant leadership?
  • How to become a servant leader.
  • What are the pros and cons of servant leadership?

So, let’s dive in!

servant leadership


What is servant leadership?

Servant leadership is a leadership style whereby an individual interacts with others, either in management or with fellow employees, to achieve authority rather than power. Servant leadership seeks to achieve a vision by providing strong support to employees. In turn, this allows employees to learn and grow while bringing their expertise and vision to the table.

What is the principle of servant leadership?

  • Listening.
  • Empathy.
  • foresight.
  • Healing.
  • Building community.


It’s important to fully listen to members of the team without interrupting. Effective servant leaders don’t just speak but listen to what their team has to say. They provide an opportunity for all members to be heard. They give others their full attention, avoid interrupting them when speaking, and give thoughtful feedback.


Effective servant leaders care about their team on a personal level. They understand that when their team feels happy and fulfilled in their personal lives, it contributes to success in their professional lives. It’s important to get to know your team so that you can use empathetic leadership to help them grow.


It’s important to use what you and your team learn to improve in the future. Effective servant leaders understand the importance of learning from past mistakes and successes and using lessons learned to productively evaluate present decisions.


Members of your team may have trouble facing their previous toxic work experiences; help them create a healthy work-life balance to give them the space to heal. Healing provides wholeness to each team member and gives them time to recover from previous trauma in their work experience.

Building community

Servant leadership promotes building relationships between co-workers and employees. As a result, trust between team members increases, as does productivity and a sense of community.

How to become a servant leader.

  • Lead by example.
  • Encourage collaboration and engagement between employees.
  • Care for your team members.
  • Show employees why their job is important.
  • Ask for feedback.

Lead by example

A servant leader should always keep in mind that he is a model for the employees and should be willing to do anything requested by his team. When team members see you are willing to put in the same amount of work and effort they do, it helps boost their engagement in their work and the organization.

Encourage collaboration and engagement between employees

A leader should always encourage collaboration and engagement between team members and employees so as to boost productivity and interaction. When you take steps to encourage your team to work together and suggest ways to improve the organization, it shows them you care about what they have to say and appreciate their contributions.

Care for your team members

A leader showing his employees that he cares for them on a personal level can help boost a leader-employee relationship. Being empathetic and trying to offer advice when you can help create a more positive work-life balance for your employees, help them cope with personal stress better, and make them feel comfortable around you.

Show employees why their job is important

By making the employees feel that what they do is important to the success of the organization, they are motivated, knowing they are a part of it and are being carried along with it.  A leader should make sure his team members know why the work they do is important and how their work directly affects the company’s overall success.

Ask for feedback

As a servant leader, looking for ways to improve their own leadership and contribute to their team is also important. A leader should encourage his team members to give feedback when they have an idea to improve workflow or help the company succeed.

What are the pros and cons of servant leadership?


  • Builds deeper, trust-based relationships.
  • Employees feel more valued and appreciated in the workplace.
  • Improves pride in work.
  • Promotes greater ownership and responsibility.
  • Encourages innovation, curiosity, and creativity.
  • Delivers a significant positive impact on company performance.
  • A high level of internal staff growth.
  • Develop future leaders.
  • Boosts morale across teams.
  • Leaders earn respect from team members.


  • The concept can be difficult to communicate.
  • Can be more time-consuming for leaders.
  • Can be difficult to attain.
  • Servant leaders can be tough and time-consuming.
  • Some may see servant leaders as weak or ineffective.
  • The formal authority of the leader may be diminished.
  • The speed of decision-making is slower.


There are advantages as well as disadvantages to any leadership style, but it all comes down to the style that’s most suited for an organization. In a less structured environment, such as a research setting where teams innovate together, servant leadership is more suitable.

That’s all for this article, where we discussed the following:

  • What is servant leadership?
  • What is the principle of servant leadership?
  • How to become a servant leader.
  • What are the pros and cons of servant leadership?

Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share.


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