The Role of the Servant-Leader

The Role of the Servant-Leader

by Abraham Khoureis, Ph.D., M.A.

“…let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” (Luke 22:24-26)

The most loved human being to Allah is the one who helps other human beings. (Prophet Muhammad)

Shining the shoes of newly hired employees by the company’s CEO is a common practice in some Japanese corporate circles.

Of course, washing the feet of his followers was Jesus Christ’s mark on the leadership of the Christian church.

Generally, we may not have the luxury of washing the feet of our employees, or shining the shoes of our newly hired employees, although we should. However, we have the ability and privilege to serve the needs and enrich the lives of our followers, employees, and staff. Thus, enhancing their abilities to serve the needs of our organizations’ clients, followers, patients, or customers.

The innate need to serve others is the primary genuine characteristic and driving force of the servant-leader. There is a common understanding between the servant-leader and the individuals served that makes any pretentious approach easily caught and innately rejected.

Although the role of the servant-leader is defined by the needs of his organization’s objectives and goals. It is the practices of the servant-leader, which may help enrich the quality of the lives of her followers and enhances her organization ability to deliver. In addition, it will help her become a positive instrument in creating a healthy, efficient, and productive workplace.

In traditional leadership, the role of the leader is to help maximize the profit share of the shareholders by any means necessary. The priority is to increase the profit of the shareholders at the expense of everyone involved. However, when implementing the servant leadership practices within an organization, the role of the leader shifts from maximizing the profit share of stakeholders only to maximizing and enriching the work environment and its elements as a whole.

The role of the servant-leader is to enhance, develop, enrich, create, help in the growth, and serve the needs of his or her people, and to help them efficiently deliver and meet the objectives of their organizations.

What type of a leader are you?

About the Author: Dr. Abraham Khoureis is a “Humanist-believer” who utilizes his writing ability to advocate for social justice and change. Follow his blog at for the latest posts and articles.

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