The Encourager

10 Principles of Servant Leadership

Many people see the leader as the person on top...the one with the perks, privileges, and praise. The truth is, leaders are at the bottom of the pyramid.

"Be ashamed to die until you have done something for humanity."   

- General Douglas MacArthur


As I read those words of General MacArthur I thought how powerful they truly are. It spoke to me about leaders being servants.

Many people see the leader as the person on top...the one with the perks, the privileges, and the praise.  In reality that is a myth.  The truth is, leaders are at the bottom of the pyramid. 

It's the leader who bears responsibility for the group...not the other way around.   It is the leader who must put together the chain of human links to make the church, business, or organization successful.  The pressure of service is on the leader.

It is the leader who must make the hard decisions, deciding quickly and carefully who to rely on to see success corporately ....or making hard financial decisions.  It is the leader who must ensure that the needs of the group are met and who is responsible for making the work or ministry environment either happy or horrible.  The leader must go the extra mile if the church, organization or business is going to go farther down the road.



May God grant you wisdom to fulfill all that he has called you to be.

Dwaine Lee
Global Action


This post is from The Encourager, a series of over 100 emails from Global Action's founder, Dwaine Lee, originally sent between 2005-2010. We believe the words of encouragement are still relevant today. The email above was first sent in March 2006. 

10 principles of servant leadership
to help you become a better leader


"Great leadership means great service....The best place for a leader isn’t always the top position. It isn’t the most prominent or powerful place. It’s the place where he or she can serve the best and add the most value to other people."
- John Maxwell


1. Listening: Effective servant leaders don’t just speak but listen to what their team has to say. They give ample opportunity for all members to be heard, and then, listen carefully to what is being said and potentially what is not being said.

2. Empathy: Effective servant leaders care about their team on a personal level.  They understand that when their team feels happy and fulfilled in their personal lives, it contributes to success in their professional lives.

3. Healing:  Effective servant leaders understand the importance of fixing problems before moving on to new goals and projects. 

4. Self-awareness:  Effective servant leaders are aware of themselves and their teams.  Self-awareness is the ability to look at yourself, think deeply about your emotions and behavior and consider how they affect the people around you.

5. Persuasion:  Effective servant leaders guide and persuade team members. Where an authoritarian leader might tell team members what to do, a servant leader tells them why it’s the best method or process. They seek to convince the team as a whole and build a consensus.

6. Conceptualization:  Effective servant leaders can think beyond small tasks and communicate larger goals and why they are important to their teams. 

7. Foresight:  Effective servant leaders understand the importance of learning from past mistakes and successes and using lessons learned to productively evaluate present decisions. 

8. Stewardship:  Effective servant leaders acknowledge and understand the importance of their responsibilities. They protect and uphold the trust and confidence given them in their role and communicate this to their team.

9. Commitment to growth:  Effective servant leaders motivate their teams to grow. They are committed to helping their teams develop professionally.

10. Building community:  Effective servant leaders encourage collaboration and engagement within their organizations. They value the opinions of everyone on their team and encourage them to share those opinions and to actively contribute to the team regularly.


Today's Video
Viewed over 5.4 million times, watch this memorable commencement speech by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Admiral McRaven offers advice for changing the world from his 36 years of experience as a Navy SEAL: Ask for help when you need it, respect everyone, persevere through failures and, perhaps surprisingly, make your bed every day. Watch here


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