Servant Leadership - What does it really look like?


Servant Leadership – it sounds nice; it resounds as a mighty platitude of epic proportions. However, living it out in the workplace, your neighborhood, your church, or anywhere else is quite a challenge.


That’s just it; it doesn’t look like anything else. It isn’t leadership focused on money, power and control. It is leadership focused on people first and helping them with their best interests in mind.

I read an article written in 1970 by Robert K. Greenleaf about servant leadership. In this article, he makes it sound like the concept of servants as leaders is a new idea, but this notion that has been passed on for generations. Moses demonstrated servant leadership as he led the Israelites out of Egypt. Servant leadership was also perfectly demonstrated and commanded by Jesus as he walked the earth with his disciples over 2000 years ago.

Even if the idea is not new, I would say that servant leadership is just as revolutionary today as it was 2000 and 3500 years ago. Why?


•    Have in mind the good of all the people, not just themselves or the stockholders.
•    Demonstrate sincere care for those they lead. 
•    Act with humility and possess a quiet confidence.
•    Are not afraid of someone they lead taking the spotlight from them.  
•    Have goals and personal interests, but they do not act on those goals and interests if they are not in the best interests of all involved.
•    Do not act with selfish ambition or vain conceit.
•    Are honest.
•    Love their people unconditionally, even when they disappoint and hurt the leader. 
Servant leaders are not pushovers. They do not let others take advantage of them. Instead, out of love, they direct them back to the right path. Servant leaders recognize and appreciate differences in people and their opinions, and they cherish those differences for the good of all.
Servant leaders do not lie, cheat or steal. They do not manipulate systems in their favor. Servant leaders surround themselves with mentors and coaches to hold them accountable for their behavior to make sure they do not get off track.


Servant leadership changes lives and affects entire companies of people. Companies led by servant leaders transform culture. Servant leaders live at peace with themselves and are esteemed by many. They are a threat to the normal power structures of our society because they don’t crave power, but live as a servant.

So… are you a servant leader?

About the Author, Jim Brangenberg

Jim's Mission: To transform Christian-run businesses through mentoring Christian Business Owners (CBOs) by incorporating the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in their businesses, their home life and their walk with Christ.

Jim Brangenberg