As proponents of servant leadership, Alpha Kappa Psi is always excited when others want to join us on this amazing journey. We believe that the theory and practice of servant leadership are paths to growth and greatness, and we want to spread the word!
However, it can be very difficult to practice servant leadership with only a theory and a set of principles to guide you. That’s why we have put together this practical checklist of servant leadership in action. No matter where you are in the journey of leading by serving, we have action steps for you and your chapter.
Answer the Question: What is Servant Leadership?
The best servant leaders begin with a deep understanding of what servant leadership is. Depending on personality type and skill set, the methods will vary. A great place to start is by answering the question “What is Servant Leadership?” Try writing an essay, recording yourself, or illustrating what it means to you.
Prepare for Hard Work
When starting a new project or a new practice, it can take a while before you start seeing positive results. You and your chapter need time to adjust to this form of leadership. Keep working on always being a servant in the little things and the larger ones will follow.
Commit to Practicing
Like learning how to ride a bicycle, how to swing dance or any other new skill set, servant leadership requires lots of repeated practice. At times, even the most well-meant gestures or choices can backfire. Keep your focus on the “why” of your efforts and hold on. Success will come in time.
List Our Your Skill Sets
Servant leadership is made up of both serving and leading skills working together. A great way to check how you are using both skill sets is to make a list of how you lead and how you serve. See how each trait stacks up and use that data as you move forward.
Take Time to Listen to Your Team
Quick chats in the hall on a particular topic are a great way to start listening as a servant leader. For more structured time, try scheduling a 15-minute monthly meeting. Encourage these sorts of communication; you may be surprised at what you hear.
Observe What Is Working and Repeat It
Maybe you’ve got some aspects of being a servant down now, but you feel like it could be better. Or you are ready to take it to the next level, whatever that may look like for your organization. Step back and reassess what’s been working, make a list of what hasn’t, and repeat what is working.
Answer the Question: How Involved am I?
True servant leaders can take leadership in a highly personal direction over and beyond what is good for them and their teams. Some personalities are more prone to this than others, making it a great checkpoint for the later stages of your servant leadership journey.
Revisit What Worked in the Beginning
Servant leadership is a journey of evolution, with multiple beginnings along the way. Do you feel like you are getting into a rut or that people are getting a little too used to the new way of doing things? Go back to the beginning and start anew.
Build Up the Next Servant Leader
A major part of being a leader is forming the next generation of leaders. No matter how much or how little time you have spent as a servant leader, you have something to teach the next leader and the leader after them. What better way to serve the next team than to pass on the torch of servant leadership?
Becoming a servant leader can seem very intimidating. From the beginning, resolve to change your leadership style to teaching and mentoring the next leader, it always helps to have guidance along the way. Alpha Kappa Psi is happy to help you by sharing the practices and tips that work for our Fraternity.