Servant Leadership

Always asking, “How can we serve you better?”

Servant leadership philosophy at Rodwell House

Everyone rightly expects care staff to provide residents with care, companionship and stimulation which is personalised to their needs. However, it can be very difficult for staff to fulfil this expectation unless we in turn provide individualised support to staff and genuinely empower them to listen to, facilitate and encourage the residents.  In this way, we seek to serve our staff just as we expect them to serve our residents.

Differences in Leadership

Most organisations today still lead by a Command & Control style of leadership. We believe that the Servant Leadership model offers a more consensual form of leadership that recognises the value of people to fulfil the organisation’s mission. It is about engaging everyone involved and using their talents to the full.

Command & Control Servant Leadership
Business Metaphor Organisation is a machine Organic structure of relationships
Authority Top down Participation by entire group
People Instruments of production Greatest assets and sources of creativity
Leadership Style Distant and detached Connected and present
Supervisory Approach Dictate, control, punitive Listen, facilitate, encourage
Service Orientation Self-serving – What can you do for me and the organisation? Other serving – what can I do to help you fulfill your goals and mission?

Servant Leadership is a holistic approach to business that encourages leaders to embody the following traits:

1. Listening
A servant leader has the motivation to listen actively to subordinates and support them in decision identification. The servant leader pays particular attention to what remains unspoken in the management setting.

2. Persuasion
A servant leader does not take advantage of his/her power and status by coercing compliance; he/she rather tries to convince those they manage. This element distinguishes servant leadership most clearly from traditional, authoritarian models.

3. Openness
The servant leader will openly share information which is relevant to others as a means of empowering them. Information will not be withheld in order to control others.

4. Commitment to the growth of others
A servant leader is convinced that people have an intrinsic value beyond their contributions as workers. Therefore, he/she nurtures the personal, professional and spiritual growth of employees. The servant leader also encourages the ideas of everyone and involves workers in decision making.

5. Empathy
A servant leader attempts to understand and empathise with others. Workers are seen not only as employees, but also as people who need respect and appreciation for their personal development.

6. Stewardship
Company owners and staff are committed to optimising the value of their organisation for all stakeholders and they see servant leadership as the essential means of doing so.

7. Building community
A servant leader seeks to build a strong community within his/her organisation and wants to develop a setting in which the needs of others can be served.

These seven characteristics are by no means exhaustive, but they describe the essential elements of servant leadership.