By | Ryan McGrath | www.entrepreneur.com
As the CEO and president of Asset Living, the fifth-largest apartment manager in the United States, I often think about what my role actually means. Employing over 4,500 employees nationwide, I recognize that I’m quite literally in the business of people. Traditionally, we are taught that our direct reports and subordinates all work to ostensibly serve us, but this line of thinking is fundamentally flawed.
My employees aren’t working for me; conversely, as a senior leader, I am actually working for them. Frankly, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have a job. Robert K. Greenleaf first coined servant leadership back in the 1970s — since then, the concept has steadily gained traction among modern day corporations.
At the center of servant leadership is the core belief that focusing on your staff’s growth and wellbeing is not only beneficial for company morale, but also ultimately good for business. Happy employees tend to be more productive, motivated and growth-oriented — all elements that propel a business towards long-term success.
So, what are some distinct aspects of servant leadership?
- Servant leaders focus primarily on the overall communities’ wellbeing and long-term growth.
- Servant leaders put the needs of others ahead of their own.