Servant Leaders are committed to serving the best interests of their people and organizations by teaching, training, equipping, and empowering team members to be the best they can be.
Some people hear the words “serve” or “servant leadership” and mistakenly associate them with concepts of weak, mamby-pamby, touchy-feely leadership. Servant leadership is quite the opposite. Competent leaders build trust with their followers. Leaders can be experts in their particular field of technical expertise, but if they aren’t competent in the skills of leadership, followers will lack trust and confidence in their ability to lead the team to success.
Just like the word “serve,” empowerment has gotten a bum rap over the years. We shouldn’t let that distract us from the fundamental value of the concept which has resurfaced in different contexts lately. Daniel Pink’s best seller, Drive, is essentially about empowerment. According to Pink, you unleash someone’s inner drive or motivation (i.e., help them be self-empowered) by providing them autonomy, mastery, and purpose in their roles.
Successful leaders empower (literally “invest with power”) their team members to do what they were hired to do.