What would Earth be without leadership? Not the self-centered and self-serving kind of leadership, but radical leadership where one is willing to die for what they stand for.

Now that’s servant leadership.

A perfect example of a servant leader Nelson Mandela, a man who fought along with others against apartheid in South Africa, and went through imprisonment for 27 years on Robben Island a rock quarry off the coast of Cape Town.

And how can we forget about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, an American Baptist minister and activist who was the leader of the civil rights movement who was assassinated. His legacy lives on today.

These men showed servant leadership, which is set apart from ordinary leadership.

Everyone can become a leader, but only few are genuine leaders that are willing to serve others before themselves.

When you are a servant leader, you are selfless.

Every nation and every community requires a leader. People need a shepherd, but not a self-centered one who would eventually trade the sheep for money. Good shepherds lay down their lives for the sake of the sheep, as previously illustrated with the examples of Mandela and Dr. King Jr.

Everyone wants to lead, but no one is willing to serve.

1. Selfless

A selfless leader puts the interests of others before their own, to the extent before those of his, to the extent that the servant leader is willing to make sacrifices.

Selfless servant leadership creates charismatic leaders that stand out in the crowd. Through serving others needs before ourselves, we learn to be true leaders.

A good leader understands others and can serve others at the expense of putting their feelings on hold.

2. Direction

A good shepherd lays down their life for the sake of the herd. They are in the forefront of every battle, and stands in front of the army to say, “Take me instead and let my people go”. The shepherd leads with direction. They know their way around and can stand boldly leading people to better places.

A leader that has no direction and doesn’t know where to go is not a shepherd leader.

3. Visionary

Every time a leader arises, there’s something to achieve. This may be long term or short term, but at the end of the day, there’s a dream to get to.

A leader that lacks vision is not to be followed, because they won’t have an idea of what to do next.

4. Faith

Ask every successful person: they utter positive affirmations every day. A healthy mind yields the best results, and this is a must-have for a leader.

They need to produce positive energy, especially when they are around their team.

Related:  The Courage of Servant Leadership

Faith is not only words uttered in vain. It is energy brought into the world. The energy you give to the world is the same energy you receive.

5. Captain

The “ship” in the word leadership means that a leader must, like a captain, steer the ship in the right direction, both for themselves and their followers. A man without his followers is not a leader.

6. Perseverance

Leadership is not a bed of roses, it is a bed of roses with thorns. It gets hard, but a real leader knows that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

They do not look to their past failures. Instead, they look ahead to their destination and keep steering the ship to where it needs to go, whether there is a storm or not. A leader with perseverance keeps going.

7. Patience

Patience is a virtue that many do not possess at all. But a leader must understand that their vision will not come to pass immediately and must be willing to exercise patience.

This is because change is a process that never happens overnight. It may take longer than expected. Considering the cycle of change allows yourself to embrace the change, and enjoy the process of change.

8. Hard Working

Hard work is doing more than what’s required. Though one might be in the forefront, there should be hard work done behind the scenes too, and this will reflect on you publicly.

The fact that one is a leader is surely more than enough reason for them to stand out and put in extra effort, as more is expected from you, and on all kinds of platforms.

9. Organized

As a leader, you need to be organized, since you will be in and out of meetings and with numerous commitments.

If things are not done in accordance with a schedule, you might disappoint your followers and people you work with.

In leadership, you don’t go with the flow, but control it. You represent yourself and what you stand for.

Being organized means trying your best to organize all aspects of your leadership.

What Do You Believe Makes a Servant Leader?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Mary Seddon
Mary Seddon is a North Carolina-based freelance writer and work-from-home mother of two. In her 10 years as a professional writer, she's worked in proposal management, grant writing, and content creation. Personally, she's passionate about teaching her family how to stay safe, secure and action-ready in the event of a disaster or emergency. Check out more at Ritely.
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