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3 Reasons Why a Servant Leader is Not a Unicorn

For some, the idea of a servant leader seems anomalous. After all, members of the management team are often expected to put the needs of the company first, not those of their staff or team.

That expectation often impacts the mindset of leaders, leading them to embrace the perspective they assume they are met to hold. This can make servant leaders seem like unicorns, something that is talked about but rarely seen.

However, a servant leader isn’t necessarily an aberration. Many of the characteristics that define this management style are present in organizations across the country, including some businesses that are incredibly successful. By understanding the hallmarks of a servant leader, you can spot these traits in management candidates or your existing leadership team, showing you just how common and valuable they can be.

If you are wondering how servant leaders aren’t unicorns, here are three reasons why.
1. Embraces Big Picture Thinking

When it comes to achieving organizational goals, having a narrow field of vision is often detrimental to success. Few company objectives are based on a single team or department. Instead, they encompass multiple teams, departments, or even the entire company.

Servant leaders are typically adept at seeing the big picture and use a wide perspective when making decisions. They can effectively consider how certain choices or changes affect the world beyond their immediate reality, allowing them to make choices for the good of the masses.

Most leaders understand the value of taking a big picture perspective, meaning they all possess at least one trait that is characteristic of the servant leader management style.

2. Builds Relationships and Engagement

An engaged workforce is typically more productive than a disengaged one. Servant leaders understand that by building relationships with their team and learning the desires, goals, and priorities of their workforce, they can create opportunities that increase engagement.

Often, this involves learning about the needs of their staff and making them a priority. Then, these leaders work diligently to provide their workers with the tools, learning experiences, and other opportunities that enable them to thrive.

Any member of management who understands the value of crafting strong relationships and providing professional development opportunities embraces at least part of the servant leader mindset, so this perspective may not be as uncommon as you think.

3. Gets Team Buy-In

Any manager or company owner that considers the opinions of their team before moving forward with a project or change possess a trait common with servant leaders. They acknowledge that team buy-in can significantly affect their success rates, as employees that believe in what they are doing will be motivated to meet or exceed expectations and produce quality outputs.

Leaders who have a penchant for getting workers on board with an idea are servant leaders, even if it involves persuasion (as long as it isn’t deceptive in nature). They understand the value of buy-in and work diligently to get everyone on the same page, creating a higher chance of success.

Ultimately, all of the traits above are common in servant leaders. This means servant leaders aren’t unicorns, as they typically aren’t as rare as you’d think.

Are You Ready to Learn More About the Value of Servant Leadership?

Whether you are just now embracing the servant leadership mindset or are simply looking to hone your leadership skills, the professionals at Clarity Consultants can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled consultants today and see how our services can benefit you.