Leverage new leadership skills to grow your business

Leverage new leadership skills to grow your business

Embracing these servant leadership skills to grow your business can help you or your client reach the next big milestone on the path to success.

Leverage new leadership skills to grow your business

When it comes to helping your (or your client’s) business achieve its next milestone, leadership style is one key factor that can impact and drive growth. From a democratic to a top-down autocratic approach or even a laissez-faire attitude, those in leadership positions have no shortage of options to choose from.

But as some have discovered, adopting a leadership style that puts employees’ well-being, input and growth ahead of their own objectives may be one way to foster business success.

Servant leadership has been increasing in popularity, with leaders looking to leverage skills that cultivate growth within their team — to not only reach their business goals but to improve employee morale and create a stronger business overall.

What does servant leadership look like?

The concept of servant leadership — coined back in the 1970s in an essay by Robert K. Greenleaf — is defined as a leader who “focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong,” sharing power and putting others’ needs first.

Ultimately, a servant leader helps their team develop and perform as highly as possible, measuring success through factors like growth, engagement, motivation and development.

This differs from traditional leadership, where the leader is often at the top of the pyramid, exercising their authority, power and decision-making capabilities and may be primarily or exclusively focused on targets and outputs.

using servant leadership skills to grow your business

Businesses run by servant leaders usually feature:

  • A greater sense of community: By taking a non-hierarchical approach to leadership where the needs of the team are the primary focus, relationships and trust are built as all team members work towards common goals and share similar values.
  • Shared decision-making: In this model, all employees have access to information and are making decisions using a collaborative approach, with a shared vision.
  • More employee autonomy: Delegation is a vital part of servant leadership – with this model, employees are encouraged to take ownership of their work and are involved in making decisions, which can boost empowerment.
  • Opportunities for employee growth: In this model, leaders seek to bring out the best in their employees, including fostering leadership qualities and opportunities and supporting advancement.


Starbucks is a famous example of servant leadership in action. When founder and executive chairman Howard Schultz stepped down from his role with the company in 2018, he spoke of the kind of company he worked to create – one that sought to elevate humanity, take care of its employees and give them the opportunity to make a contribution to its core purpose.

“Servant leadership means simply to be in the service of others. We are in the business of being in service of others,” Schultz said.


What are the benefits of servant leadership?

One of the biggest advantages of a servant leadership approach is a higher level of employee engagement and retention — a team that feels empowered and supported may be motivated to work together towards shared company goals and less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. As one survey found, employees who enjoy their work and are gaining new skills to advance their careers are 33% more likely to stay. 

Another benefit is improved collaboration and teamwork — when all employees have a stake in decision-making and input is welcomed from all stakeholders, this can foster innovation and creativity and even boost productivity.

How to implement servant leadership skills every day

Leveraging servant leadership skills in your business is a matter of developing certain qualities, centered on the well-being of your team — here are a few areas to focus on:

  • Empathy: One of the elements of developing a servant leadership style is the ability to understand and accept the views of the team, lead with empathy and inclusion and encourage considerate actions from all employees. Indeed, as a Gartner, Inc. survey found, some 90% of HR professionals say that leaders need to focus on the human aspects of leadership — being authentic, empathetic and adaptive — in order to succeed in the current work environment.
  • Listening: From a servant leadership perspective, good listening is not just giving all employees a voice, hearing and respecting their views on a subject and taking these on board — which is vital — but having the ability to reflect on what is being said, in order to make informed decisions.
  • Awareness: Discovering employee strengths, interests and weaknesses, leaders can ensure teams are best placed to thrive and achieve their own, as well as the businesses’ goals. This also includes self-awareness, to ensure leaders know their own strengths and limitations.
  • Commitment to community building: Working to build deeper, positive relationships within your workforce through cooperation rather than competition and by celebrating and valuing different skill sets in your business can help encourage teamwork and ensure employees are working together towards a common goal.

By fostering servant leadership skills, you’ll be taking a collaborative approach to running your business — while there are no guarantees that it will lead to a stronger bottom line, employees will be more engaged — and improved creativity, retention and performance are likely to follow.

Looking for support in growing your (or your client’s) business? Contact a Liquid Capital Principal today.