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There are many different types of leaders in the workplace, from autocratic bosses who bark out orders to laid-back leaders who give employees a large degree of autonomy. In this blog, we’ll be doing a deep dive into one particular leadership style: servant leadership.

What Is Servant Leadership?

Servant leadership is all about focusing on helping your team rather than seeking more control or power. When developing your leadership skills, you'll prioritise your staff's needs over your own for the benefit of the company.

Throughout history, you can find notable servant leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Herb Kelleher (CEO of Southwest Airlines), and the Dalai Lama. What ties them together is their people-focused approach.

Qualities Of A Servant Leader

Becoming a servant leader typically requires specific qualities. To reap the long-term rewards, you'll need strong interpersonal skills, including:

  • Empathy for others.
  • The ability to inspire and motivate.
  • Excellent active listening skills.
  • Persuasive communication abilities.
  • Foresight and strategic planning.

Servant leaders are selfless, placing the growth of their team above personal success. They build trust, recognising that the company thrives when employees receive the support they need to succeed.

How Do You Demonstrate Servant Leadership?

Being a servant leader is all about humility. In the workplace, this means creating an environment where everyone’s voice is heard. Imagine there's a dip in team performance. Instead of just telling your team to work harder, like an autocratic leader might, a servant leader would hold a meeting. This is a chance for everyone to talk about their challenges. It's about finding hidden issues and encouraging open feedback. Servant leadership is the opposite of autocracy - it's not about orders, it's about support and collaboration.

What Challenges Do Servant Leaders Face?

Servant leadership is great, but it doesn't fit every situation. Online leadership courses point out a few potential downsides:

  • Some might see you as less authoritative.
  • Certain people prefer more direct leadership and less independence.
  • It can blur the lines between staff and bosses.
  • Decision-making might take a bit longer.

Despite these challenges, the cooperative nature of servant leadership often suits modern businesses well. In many Australian companies, you'll find a mix of autocratic and servant leadership. This blend provides both guidance and support, and it’s about finding the right balance that suits your team.

In fields where staff support and growth are crucial, servant leadership often becomes more prominent. It’s all about nurturing your team and encouraging a collaborative work environment.

Elevate Your Leadership Skills with OCA's Online Courses

Want to be a better leader? OCA's online short courses are a smart choice. They're easy to understand, and video-based, and you can fit them into your busy life. Plus, they're CPD-endorsed, which is great for your business management and franchising career.

What makes OCA different?

At OCA, we offer a next-level learning experience. You'll get engaging courses developed with industry experts and have access to one-to-one mentoring and 24/7 help. 

Want to find out what it’s like to study at Online Courses Australia? Watch our Student Study Demo to get a taste of the OCA difference.

Looking for more courses? Check out our most popular courses, or visit our expansive course library that covers more than 20 professional industries.

If you’re ready to enrol or have additional questions, reach out to us at 1300 611 404 or [email protected]. We’re here to help you take your career to the next level! 

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