In this article, servant leadership is characterized by a few distinct traits. The article acknowledges that leaders that exhibit these traits are examples of servant leaders. These traits include leading by example, emotional engagement in their companies, communicating with others, treating their followers with dignity, and working alongside others to get the job done.
Companies such as Chick-Fila, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Starbucks all excel in their respective industries. A normal customer may think that the CEO’s of these companies have a leadership by outrage type of approach to leading, or are very hands-off within their companies, but that is not the case. All of these CEO’s do certain things, which in turn makes their companies very successful. Each of these CEO’s believe that each and every employee in their organization is an important aspect of the overall mission and success of their organization. In these companies, employees are paid well, are supported with benefits not given by other companies in the same field, and are supported by corporate management. In each one of these companies, you see corporate management in the stores, and on the ground working with stakeholders at various levels to make sure initiatives are being implemented, and to see what if anything need to be changed.
In these companies, you see these individuals doing what the company represents on a daily basis. If you are in charge of an organization, you have to be able to live out its values and missions in your daily transactions. These men and women work alongside their workers to find ways and to fix ways to make these places top notch, support them emotionally and professionally. In turn, these companies are successful because their employees are happy and satisfied. As an educational leader in your building, if you are working alongside your faculty and staff and supporting them and implementing ways to make their academic results more successful, support, and trust will be there and success will occur.
Edward Hess from the Washington Post who wrote this article, says that “How servant leaders behave is a key to their successful leadership. Behaviors are means of communicating” (Hess, 2013). The key to successful servant leadership is being there, being presenting, supporting those who work under you in all shapes and fashions while doing it humbly and while soaring to reach your companies goals.