The important characteristics of a good leader and how they can benefit companies

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The important characteristics of a good leader and how they can benefit companies

Since the time of the Industrial Revolution, managers have tended to view people as tools, while organizations have considered workers as cogs in a machine. In the past few decades we have witnessed a shift in that long-held view. In countless for-profit and nonprofit organizations today we are seeing traditional, autocratic, and hierarchical modes of leadership yielding to a different way of working--one based on teamwork and community, one that seeks to involve others in decision making, one strongly based in ethical and caring behavior, and one that is attempting to enhance the personal growth of people while improving the caring and quality of our many institutions.

This emerging approach to leadership and service began with Greenleaf. Greenleaf Center in and is now headquartered in Indianapolis. Standard practices are rapidly shifting toward the ideas put forward by Greenleaf, as witnessed by the work of Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, Max DePree, Margaret Wheatley, Ken Blanchard, and many others who suggest that there is a better way to lead and manage our organizations.

True leadership emerges from those whose primary motivation is a deep desire to help others. In his works, Greenleaf discusses the need for a better approach to leadership, one that puts serving others--including employees, customers, and community--as the number one priority.

Servant-leadership emphasizes increased service to others, a holistic approach to work, promoting a sense of community, and the sharing of power in decision making. When two opposites are brought together in a creative and meaningful way, a paradox emerges.

Greenleaf said that the servant-leader is one who is a servant first.

The important characteristics of a good leader and how they can benefit companies

In "The Servant as Leader" he wrote, "It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.

The best test is: Do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?

Leaders have traditionally been valued for their communication and decision-making skills. While these are also important skills for the servant-leader, they need to be reinforced by a deep commitment to listening intently to others. The servant-leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps clarify that will.

He or she seeks to listen receptively to what is being said. Listening, coupled with regular periods of reflection, is essential to the growth of the servant-leader.

The servant-leader strives to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirits.

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One assumes the good intentions of coworkers and does not reject them as people, even if one finds it necessary to refuse to accept their behavior or performance. Many people have broken spirits and have suffered from a variety of emotional hurts.

Although this is part of being human, servant-leaders recognize that they also have an opportunity to "help make whole" those with whom they come in contact.Thank you, Tabani. There are so many discussions about which characteristic is the most important. I believe it is a combination of many characteristics and mastery of a .

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