Servant Leadership, Part 2

“Servant leadership deals with the reality of power in everyday life- its legitimacy, the ethical restraints upon it and the beneficial results that can be attained through the appropriate use of power” (The New York Times).  Paul clearly saw the virtues of servant leadership in Jesus.  Paul wrote “But [Jesus] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7).

Larry Spears has studied Greenleaf’s writings for years.  He has identified the following ten characteristics of the servant leader:

  1. Listening
  2. Empathy
  3. Healing
  4. Awareness
  5. Persuasion
  6. Conceptualization
  7. Foresight
  8. Stewardship
  9. Commitment to the growth of people
  10. Building community

These ten characteristics of servant-leadership are by no means exhaustive.  They do communicate the pattern, principles, power, presence, and promise servant-leadership offers to leaders open to its invitation and challenge.

J.C. Hunter writing in The Servant created a love and leadership list for servant leaders.  Hunter’s list follows:

Love and Leadership

Patience                      Showing Self-control

Kindness                     Giving Attention, Appreciation, and   Encouragement

Humility                      Being Authentic and Without Pretense or Arrogance

Respectfulness            Treating Others as Important People

Selflessness                Meeting the Needs of Others, Being Forgiving, and  Giving up Resentment When Wronged

Honesty                      Being Free from Deception

Commitment               Sticking to Your Choices

Results                        Service/Sacrifice Setting Aside Your Own Wants and Needs; Being the Best You Can Be for Others

As you consider your role as a leader today, I would encourage you to strive to adopt a few of these characteristics and do your best to live fully into them.