Leadership must first and foremost meet the needs of others.
– Robert Greenleaf
What would you say is your leadership style? Authoritative? Transactional? Participative? Different types of leadership styles exist in our various work environments. The servant leadership style employs these traits but at the right time and in the right situation. People who offer servant leadership are intentional about sharing their power and prioritizing the needs of their team. As a servant leader, you’re a “servant first”. You involve others in decisions, provide support to help them meet their personal goals and build a sense of community within your team. Today, the Millennial workforce we are leading prefers a workplace where they can make a positive difference in their community and world. Establishing a culture of servant leadership can be an effective style to enact in your organization for better workplace experiences, enhanced customer outcomes and a preferred workplace for the Millennial generation.
According to the Pew Research Center, the Millennial generation will comprise 75% of the US workforce by 2025 with approximately 30% in management positions. Millennials tend to be confident, possess a drive for achievement and want opportunities to learn, grow and acquire new skills. If your form of leadership is to only require your employees to perform their job description and be authoritative in your style, Millennials may not want to work for you. Their job and their personal lives are one and the same. Servant leadership empowers someone to do their best and make a real contribution to their world and their workplace. This empowerment allows a person to do their job in the manner most effective for them. Empowering your team to make decisions with your guidance and oversight is how you can lead a Millennial and support their sense of social responsibility.
In our industry, we rely on our employees to put the needs of the people they serve before themselves. As leaders we must model this same behavior with our staff if we expect it of them in their jobs. Our profession, mission, vocation and passion is our purpose. This Sense of purpose drives us to Engage others and become a Role model with Values Empowering those whom we lead and… SERVE.
Steve Hendricks is Midwest Regional Director for Scioto Properties – a nationwide provider of real estate for organizations that support individuals with disabilities. Steve has worked for over 30 years in the human services industry in various leadership and executive positions. Steve has given presentations on Servant Leadership at various meetings and conferences. Steve can be contacted at email@example.com.