Servant leadership emphasizes an increased service to others, a holistic approach, promoting a sense of community and the sharing of power in decision making. Such leaders see power and authority as ways of helping and inspiring others to grow, not for exploiting, ruling or taking advantage. At its core, servant leadership is a long term approach to life and work, which has the potential for creating positive change throughout society with a focus on ethical behavior and a concern for subordinates. (Greenleaf, 1977, Greenleaf & Spears, 2002, Ndoria, 2004, Ehrhart, 2004)
Where is Servant leadership applied? In a Feb 2013 article in INC, former Navy Seal Combat Veteran Brent Gleeson discussed the links between Servant Leadership and the SEAL creed and approach to leadership. Servant Leadership also emerged in research published in March 2013 in the Quality Management Journal by Prof John Latham of The University of Northern Colorado. This research showed that Servant Leadership was a key trait of CEOs that had led successful organizational transformations resulting in recognition as Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients.
Spears (1998) identified ten characteristics to Servant Leadership.
9. Commitment to the growth of people
10. Building community