Discussion of Servant Leadership


Servant leadership is a behavioral philosophy adopted by some people in authority who opt to serve, empower, and uplift those who work under them. It is a relatively contemporary philosophy where leaders are always seeking to enhance the development of their subordinates in ways that unlock creativity, a sense of purpose, and potential. Multiple scientific findings indicate that this leadership model’s practice positively impacts workers’ attitudes and behaviors, reduces turnover ratio, and improves performance and productivity. However, servant leaders possess various essential traits, which enhance their effectiveness in influencing the conduct and actions of other people.

This topic is of paramount significance as it provides valuable insights into the attributes of an effective servant leader and how people in positions of authority can adopt the model to simulate performance and competitiveness. In the future, I will apply the knowledge obtained from the research as an innovative strategy to transform organizational culture, empower and inspire teams, and combat low productivity.


The traditional business managers function as autocratic directors who exercise oversight and authority on their subordinates. Servant leaders move beyond the conventional dictatorial tendencies to drive performance and instead embrace employees’ empowerment and inspiration as a strategy to promote productivity. In my research, I have noticed that some individuals in leadership positions opt to stimulate organizational performance by adopting an unselfish mindset and a genuine desire to serve the interests of the subordinates.

This implies that the people in managerial personnel deliberately choose to support, inspire, and empower their juniors as an innovative operational strategy to influence their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors. In this regard, these leaders direct their focus on addressing the concerns and desires of their subordinates to unlock their potential, a sense of purpose, and creativity instead of commanding and exercising power. I have observed that people who practice this management style possess various fundamental qualities and traits, which enhance their ability to exert influence on subordinates.

The Focus of the Topic

In leadership, there are several management styles that people adopt to steer organizations. A servant leadership model is an approach that helps managers to build strong teams of empowered, inspired, and satisfied individuals devoted to high-quality work, which enhances the overall success of an organization. In this paper, I explore the concept and philosophy of servant leadership style and utilize the findings of various scientific journals to obtain an in-depth understanding of this management approach.

I focus on the fundamental characteristics which constitute an effective servant leader and their psychological impacts on the behaviors and attitudes of employees. I also utilize journals to analyze how these leaders create organizational environments that promote this managerial model’s efficacy. These insights are critical as they form a guiding framework for applying the research findings to develop essential characteristics of a servant leader for the future career path.

Why the Topic Interests Me

The servant leadership model is an exciting subject to me, mainly due to its remarkable departure from the traditional managerial styles, which are based on commanding and directing the subordinates. According to Eva et al. (2019), this revolutionary approach significantly differs from the conventional approach by deemphasizing power and authority and supplanting them with empowering, inspiring, and serve-first mindset. Interestingly, most traditional business leaders function as autocratic managers who influence the performance of the subordinates by exercising the power of their positions.

However, servant leadership devalues the perception and relevance of authority in organizations while elevating the prominence of service philosophy to drive performance, productivity, and job satisfaction (Siriattakul & Jermsittiparsert, 2019). This implies that this evolutionary managerial approach is innovative in that it seeks to address the needs and concerns of subordinates so that they can focus their efforts on delivering results for the firm.

Another dimension I find interesting about the servant leadership management model is the leaders’ focus on developing team members and ensuring that they have the necessary resources and skills to deliver exceptional results without constant supervision. The people using this technique to lead transcends the transactional managerial aspects and instead actively choose to invest in employees. According to Ragnarsson et al. (2018), this leadership model is a long-term strategy since it seeks to adjust and transform the workers’ psychological disposition and regard for work by first serving their interests and concerns.

I contend that this approach requires that people in influential positions support their subordinates to achieve organizational and personal goals simultaneously. This perspective converts this managerial style to a people-friendly strategy primarily focused on cultivating empowerment, commitment, and resourcefulness as the antecedents for a motivated workforce. Unlike the traditional performance-oriented management strategies, servant leaders are devoted to achieving sustainability of productivity and workers’ effectiveness, prioritizing their growth, development, and wellbeing. This is another interesting perspective on servant leadership as it is an indirect strategy to eliminate supervision as a way of guaranteeing high performance.

Another compelling observation I made from this research is that there are various inherent traits and attributes, which enhance the effectiveness of servant leaders in inspiring their employees to perform and deliver exceptional results. Such qualities as empathy, listening, awareness, foresight, stewardship, and persuasion create a solid foundation for leaders to build a workplace supportive of employee development and organizational success (Haq et al., 2021). Notably, these characteristics reflect a genuine intrinsic interest in others, which fosters the conscious choice of serving and empowering people.

For instance, listening facilitates a better understanding of employees’ needs and concerns, while foresight and awareness establish the prudence of planning and creating provisions for the future. Allen et al. (2016) contend that persuasion is critical in molding the personal aspirations of workers to ensure they align with the overall objectives of a firm. Moreover, it also helps to steer an organization away from cultures that impede the realization of such ideals as effective and responsive leadership and job satisfaction (Coetzer et al., 2017). These insights are vital since they demonstrate the holistic nature of servant leadership style.

Major Findings of Scholarly Sources

Servant leadership is a contemporary managerial philosophy characterized by the leaders’ deliberate choice to serve and address the concerns of the employees as a gateway for improving productivity, performance, and overall organizational success. While the traditional management exercised oversight and authority to drive exceptional results, this novel model achieves better outcomes by devaluing power, command, and control and supplanting them with workers’ empowerment, inspiration, and growth. The principal objective of this managerial style is to transform the psychological disposition, perceptions, behaviors, and attitudes of employees in a way that triggers high levels of engagement, cooperation, and commitment (Brohi et al., 2018).

This implies that instead of the raw exercise of power and authority, a servant leader works to ensure that the teams are equipped with the resources, skills, and an enabling environment for personal and organizational success. A study conducted by Saleem et al. (2020) demonstrated that organizations are increasingly adopting this managerial approach as a strategic mechanism for entrenching and guaranteeing sustainable performance. In this regard, servant leadership is a revolutionary management philosophy, which enhances organizational performance by coopting the interests and aspirations of the employees.

Other salient findings from studies indicate that servant leadership managerial styles have profound psychological effects on the employees. The commitment demonstrated by managers towards developing, empowering, and inspiring their juniors enhances workers’ perception of safety and appreciation, which inhibits their desire to leave an organization. Brohi et al. (2018) posit that this phenomenon is negatively associated with turnover intention since workers feel appreciated and become optimistic about their growth potential in an organization. Aziz et al. (2018) and Elche et al. (2020) corroborate this view and assert posit that the alignment of personal aspirations and company mission promotes voluntary commitment and effectiveness due to the created connection.

Consequently, it entrenches long-term productivity, job performance, and operational efficacy of a firm. In this regard, the management may adopt this leadership model as an innovative strategy to influence positive discretionary actions and proactive behaviors, leading to overall organizational success. Brohi et al. (2018) note that these outcomes are directly attributable to the employees’ feelings of genuine psychological safety. Therefore, servant leadership can also be viewed as a creative and cost-effective approach for improving productivity and retaining competent employees.

Another significant finding from scientific studies is that there distinct traits and attributes inherent to servant leaders. These characteristics play an integral role in helping the managers to create an effective organizational environment and aligning employees’ aspirations to the company’s mission. Notably, a selfless mindset and a genuine interest in the progress and growth of others are the foundation on which servant leadership is anchored (Ragnarsson, 2018). This implies that people intending to be servant leaders ought to first eliminate selfish motivations and cultivate the philosophy of putting employees’ concerns ahead of business objectives.

Traits such as empathy, foresight, compassion, and persuasion are fundamental in recreating the organizational environment to ensure the realization of a satisfied workforce and conducive culture as the antecedents of productivity, performance, and success (Donia et al., 2016). For instance, the ability to listen effectively enables the managers to identify the aspirations of the subordinates and create robust interpersonal relationships, which are integral in establishing a sustainable culture of trust, engagement, and motivation. Tanno and Banner (2018) posit that these attributes and skills enhance a leader’s effectiveness, particularly when re-engineering an organization’s social culture.

Notably, employees’ behaviors and attitudes towards a firm are transformed when they feel that managers consider their aspirations and create supportive systems to realize their potential. Nobles (2019) and Giambatista (2020) assert that an effective servant leadership model eliminates the need for hierarchical supervisory positions and incentives to improve productivity and performance. In this regard, practicing this managerial philosophy is an innovative, cost-effective approach with long-term benefits for the organization and employees.

Applying the Research to Career Goals

The research on servant leadership has provided me with an opportunity to self-reflect and clearly define my career’s desired outcomes. As a starting point, I will seek to cultivate and nurture the specific traits and attributes inherent to this managerial model and which would be applied in future leadership roles. Additionally, I will practice various skills that optimize a servant leader’s effectiveness, such as enriching the quality of interrelationships and prioritizing the personal interests of others to win peoples’ commitment and trust.

Moreover, seeking in-depth understanding of other peoples’ needs, providing support, empowering, and inspiring those around me will help me create a foundation for the progressive reinforcement of a selfless mindset. In this regard, I will apply the insights obtained from this research to develop the personality and embrace the philosophy of addressing the needs and concerns of others to transform their attitudes and behaviors psychologically.


Leadership is progressively becoming service-oriented as organizations seek to overcome the challenges of conventional managerial models. Over the years, the philosophy of command and control to drive productivity and performance is being replaced by the concept of serving, empowering, and inspiring employees to achieve organizational and personal successes simultaneously. This implies that servant leaders allow their subordinates to accomplish personal aspirations while helping the firm meet its objectives. Practitioners of this leadership model demonstrate various fundamental attributes and traits, reinforcing their effectiveness in stimulating improved results without exercising their positional authority.

These characteristics include persuasion, listening, a selfless mindset, empathy, and compassion. Among the benefits of this leadership style are boosted employee development, enhanced organizational citizenship behavior, improved productivity, and decision-making processes. Overall, empowered staff feel more engaged, purpose-driven, and perform innovatively. Servant leadership ensures the long-term viability of a business by enhancing the retention of a talented workforce and reducing costs associated with turnover and incentives.


Servant leadership is a contemporary management model in which the leader’s objective is to address the concerns and interests of their employees through empowerment, development, and inspiration. It differs from the conventional managerial approach in emphasizing the priority of workers over the organization’s performance. Notably, servant leadership is considered innovative as the practitioners seek to transform the behavior and attitudes of the employees as a long-term strategic plan for higher productivity and performance.


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Aziz, K., Awais, M., Ul Hasnain, S. S., Khalid, U., & Shahzadi, I. (2018). Do good and have good: Does servant leadership influence organizational citizenship behavior? International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 7(4), 7−16. Web.

Brohi, N. A., Jantan, A. H., Qureshi, M. A., Bin Jaffar, A. R., Bin Ali, J., Bin Ab Hamid, K., & Nunn, S., (2018). The impact of servant leadership on employees’ attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. Cogent Business & Management, 5(1), 1−17. Web.

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Elche, D., Ruiz-Palomino, P., & Linuesa-Langreo, J. (2020). Servant leadership and organizational citizenship behavior: The mediating effect of empathy and service climate. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32(6), 2035−2053. Web.

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Giambatista, R., McKeage, R., & Brees, J. (2020). Cultures of servant leadership and their impact. The Journal of Value-Based Leadership, 13(1), 1−16. Web.

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Nobles, B. (2019). Use hierarchy for “liberating servant leadership” instead of controlling employees. Journal of Organizational Design, 8, 1−7. Web.

Ragnarsson, S., Kristjansdottir, E. S., & Gunnarsdottir, S. (2018). To be accountable while showing care: The lived experience of people in a servant leadership organization. SAGE Open, 8(3), 1−12. Web.

Saleem, F., Zhang, Y. Z., Gopinath, C., & Adeel, A. (2020). Impact of servant leadership on performance: The mediating role of affective and cognitive trust. SAGE Open, 10(1), 1−16. Web.

Siriattakul, P., & Jermsittiparsert, K. (2019). Impact of transformational and servant leadership on organizational performance and job satisfaction: An empirical assessment of pharmaceutical firms in Thailand. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity, and Change, 6(11), 73-101. Web.

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