There are distinctly identified characteristics of servant leaders which influence the behavior of individuals, groups and organizations as they make a profound impact to the society in general. This essay would identify two servant leadership characteristics and proffer how these characteristics are used along with collaboration to influence various individuals and groups. In addition, the areas that leaders could focus on, personally, and through their organizations, would be identified to make an impact and improve society.
Larry C. Spears, Chief Executive Officer of The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, has identified ten (10) characteristics of effective, caring leaders. Spears (2006, 2) averred that “servant-leadership seeks to involve others in decision making, is strongly based in ethical and caring behavior, and it enhances the personal growth of workers while improving the caring and quality of organizational life.” Thereby, he identified the ten characteristics of servant leaders as skills in (1) listening, (2) empathy, (3) healing, (4) awareness, (5) persuasion, (6) conceptualization, (7) foresight, (8) stewardship, (9) commitment to the growth of people, and (10) building community. These characteristics were confirmed in another discourse written by De Graaf, Tilley & Neal (2001, 1)
A servant leader characteristic that is critical and relevant in influencing individual members, groups, organizations as they move to impact society in general, is efficient and effective listening skills. A servant leader has genuine interest to determine the needs, feelings, will, and messages of his followers through intent listening. Through listening, the servant leader determines and absorbs the innermost thoughts of his constituents. Since his objective is to solicit active involvement and participation of his followers in decision making processes, listening enables the servant leader to collect inputs from his followers