Here are the top five traits that all effective servant leaders possess.

qualities of servant leaders


“The truth of your character is expressed through the choice of your actions.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli


What traits do you exhibit as a leader? The answer could mean the difference between a highly effective team and one that is riddled with problems and inefficiencies. A new era of work calls for a new kind of leader, willing to serve others and promote the wellbeing of the people around them.


Today, we’re breaking down the top five qualities all effective servant leaders possess and how you can learn to develop each.


Servant Leaders Are Aware

Servant leaders are aware of self and of others. They have the ability to anticipate how certain actions affect the people around them. Think you have it covered? Well, according to research, only 10% to 15% of people have a high level of self awareness. What’s more–the higher up you are in an organization, the less likely you are to have it. Knowing who you are and how your actions affect the people around you will aid you on your journey towards servant leadership and organizational success.


Servant Leaders Are Humble

A servant leader helps their organization succeed by lifting up the people they serve, not themselves. This means putting the ego aside and always striving to do what is best for the collective. As business problems continue to become increasingly complex, the less likely it is for one person to have all the answers. Real breakthroughs occur when you admit to yourself and your team that you can’t do it alone.


Servant Leaders Are Empathetic

True understanding is an essential part of any healthy relationship, and the same applies in a business setting. No leader can serve their people without a keen understanding of how they are feeling. Servant leaders practice active listening to see what others can not and respond with compassion and caring.


Servant Leaders Are Persuasive

A servant leader never abuses their power by demanding compliance. Instead, they rely on their natural ability to encourage the people around them to build consensus and take action. This kind of approach is especially beneficial for organizations facing transformation. Servant leaders promote change and build harmony through influence, not force.


Servant Leaders Are Dreamers

Servant leaders see beyond the day-to-day minutia of business. They have the courage to pursue big thinking. Short-term operational goals are met, but always within the context and framework of a bigger picture. Servant leaders understand how to promote the future of their organizations with vision and grit.


Becoming a servant leader does not happen overnight. It is a daily practice that can be learned overtime. If you or the leaders within your organization would like to learn to embody these characteristics, check out our yearlong servant leadership coaching program.