5 "Must-Dos" for Servant Leaders

5 "Must-Dos" for Servant Leaders

To lead people, walk beside them. As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!— Lao Tzu

Hey everybody! Servant leadership is just one of many leadership styles, but it’s personally my favorite because it pokes at the heart of leadership—taking care of the needs of others.

At its core, the servant leadership approach prioritizes team members’ well-being and growth, putting their needs first to unlock their full potential. Servant leaders are focused on achieving goals and empowering and uplifting those they lead. 

Okay — in today’s blog post, I’ll be sharing 5 “Must-Do’s” for how you can best serve your team(s). 

Photo by Pixabay at pexels.com

Happy Reading!


1. Daily Check-Ups:

Okay, let’s not confuse daily check-ups with meetings. A daily check-up is either (1) you physically walking over to your folks, (2) calling/emailing your team, or (3) any other means of connecting. 

I recommend this daily until you have established relationships with subordinate leaders and your team. Once you have rapport, you can scale back or adjust as necessary. 

However, the intent is to be present and available for your team to openly receive updates about progress, challenges, and opportunities they might face. 

Over time, your presence or method of daily check-ups will become typical to your team. This is good. As Lao Tzu mentioned, this is walking beside your team. 

Photo by cottonbro studio at pexels.com

2. Provide Resources and Support:

Servant leaders flex to whatever their team’s needs are because they understand taking care of their team is the top priority. The best way to do this is to anticipate resourcing gaps and mitigate shortfalls

Understanding your organization’s vision and upcoming projects is the best way to accomplish this. Communicating this to your team allows them to report metrics or inventory levels, allowing you to identify deficits or align resources properly.

Resource management is a no-brainer, as it’s black and white in your duty description. But showing support to your team is the key!

For example, you can support your team by stopping by with popsicles or water on a hot summer day. It could also mean reaching out internally or externally to get more manpower or assistance for a project. 

Bottom line: You are an enabler. Focus on the background items that allow your team to succeed. 

Photo by Tiger Lily at pexels.com

3. Mentor and Coach:

One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination. — John C. Maxwell

Another reason behind Must-Do #1 is that establishing rapport with your team allows you to understand their strengths, abilities, and interests.

You are in a prime position to help your team develop their skills and reach their full potential. However, your junior subordinates usually need a stronger sense of the opportunities and career paths. This is why you must mentor and coach. 

For example, you could mentor informally, conduct 1-on-1s, or develop a professional development schedule for your organization. 

Photo by Vanessa Garcia at pexels.com

The bottom line is that your mentorship and coaching will have a lifelong impact on your folks. It’s worth it 100%. 

4. Roll Up Your Sleeves:

It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages. — Henry Ford

I love this quote from Henry Ford. It sets the tone for servant leadership. 

Rolling up your sleeve is an action that sets an example. When your team sees you taking out the trash, cleaning up, or working with them, it has a positive ripple effect. 

Photo by MART PRODUCTION at pexels.com

Once again, another shameless plug for Must-Do #1. Connecting with your team allows you to create opportunities to roll up your sleeves and get to work. In my experience, if I had to choose between sitting at my desk or going out and jobbing it with my team…it’s a pretty easy choice.

5. Recognize and Appreciate:

Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune. — Sam Walton

My FAVORITE! Best for last, of course. 

People want to feel valued and appreciated. 

At work. 

At home. 

Wherever. 

It costs nothing to walk over to your team, shake their hands, look them in the eyes, and praise their hard work. 

As a leader, this is often the best part of the job. When top performers are recognized, everyone rallies around to show their gratitude.

Kind words and hand-written letters are two great methods of showing your appreciation.  

Consideration #1: If you have subordinate leaders — don’t rob them of the opportunity to praise their team. Let your subordinate leaders praise their team, then make sure to provide kind words to everyone, including their leader.

Consideration #2: Remember the impact family has. Invite the family and friends; a written note or phone call will suffice. No different than your situation, everyone sacrifices something to be at work. Often, it’s the ones we love the most.

Photo by RDNE Stock project at pexels.com

Alright, in conclusion, by focusing on these 5 “must-dos” (Daily check-ups, Resource and support, Mentor/Coaching, Rolling up your sleeves, and showing appreciation), you can build a high-performing team, foster a positive workplace culture, and drive organizational success through empowerment, support, and genuine care for your team members.

I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time. 

Brandon 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.