Why Servant Leadership is the Future

Recently I’ve noticed a rapid increase in servant leadership traffic online. From the LinkedIn group for servant leaders, to a growing number of conferences, the volume of Google traffic and a number of new sites dedicated to servant leadership. Yes, servant leadership demand is growing.

Servant Leadership the Path of Future Leadership

You’ve seen how destructive toxic leadership is. You’ve watched your own leaders come and go with limited success. You’ve heard colleagues complain about how leaders fail to inspire and nothing ever changes. Yet, you are still not convinced?  Here’s 5 reasons why servant leadership is the future:

1. Generation X: The generation now assuming management and leadership roles grew up in the 1980′s, when corporate layoffs were rampant and divorce rates sky rocketed. Our emerging leaders distrust the corporation and demand service from themselves and those they support.

2. Sustainability Needed: Decades of short-term focus have removed the fat and cut corporations to the bone. Growing trends in green production and environmental assessments promote greater emphasis on community.

3. Trust Demanded: Recent years, especially the financial meltdown of 2008 and fraud cases of 2009 have revealed the risks of consolidated power to a few. Transparency and candor are in demand everywhere.

4. Rebuilding Necessary: As our global economy begins to emerge from recessions, there is an increased focus on building up vs. tearing down. Years of cutting back, layoffs, recessions and other employee engagement killers must now be countered before organizations see their top talent walk to the competition – who have servant leadership.

5. “Me First” is Last: Frankly, more and more people are sick of the self-promoting antagonists of yester-year. Being all about your career is not only antiquated, it’s offensive. People want to be inspired, not commanded.

The growth of online content, conferences, and demand for servant leadership is just the start. I believe servant leadership awareness and adoption is growing. It is my hope you will join the movement.

Question: Do you believe servant leadership is growing? Why or why not?

  • http://www.upperlinefinancial.com H. Jude Boudreaux, CFP®

    Great post, so glad Michael Hyatt shared it on his feed. I think point #3 is the critical one these days. I’m in the financial world, and our trust level with the public is somewhere below Used Car Salesman. Only small actions by individuals over time can rebuild this trust, and never has it been more critical.

    • http://modernservantleader.com/ Benjamin Lichtenwalner

      You make an excellent point, Jude. It will take many small actions, by individuals, over time to rebuild trust. This is in part why servant leadership is so important. When the character of the leader includes a desire to serve, trust is earned. When that trust is earned, sustainable success is once again possible. Good luck in your own endeavors and thank you for sharing.

    • http://modernservantleader.com/ Benjamin Lichtenwalner

      You make an excellent point, Jude. It will take many small actions, by individuals, over time to rebuild trust. This is in part why servant leadership is so important. When the character of the leader includes a desire to serve, trust is earned. When that trust is earned, sustainable success is once again possible. Good luck in your own endeavors and thank you for sharing.

  • Joe Iarocci

    Ben, You nail it, as always. 

    At the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, we also perceive “demand” to be growing, surely for the reasons servant leadership is the future, as you say.

    Also, each new day I believe technology-enabled social networks are better connecting the demand for servant leadership goods, services and information with the supply of those things. But there is still a gap between supply and demand, which the social networks can remedy. As you know better than most everyone else, social media can accelerate the growth of a servant leadership movement at the grass-roots level; that’s what we have learned from watching Modern Servant Leader. So, thanks for leading the way!

    • http://modernservantleader.com/ Ben Lichtenwalner

      Wow, Joe, I just realized I never responded to your comment. I kept wanting to craft the “perfect thank you” for such kind words. Low and behold, I waited too long and did the opposite.

      I am truly humbled and honored for your very positive feedback on our work here. Thank you for all you and the center do, every day, as well. I’m really excited to see what the future brings for the Greenleaf Center and the Servant Leadership movement as a whole.

      Keep serving, my friend.