The Project Manager As A Servant Leader

Project Managers certainly have their work cut out for them. They must lead, inspire and motivate their team members to put in their best. One of the most important attributes of an effective Project Manager that certainly deserves a mention is Servant Leadership.

A Servant Leader puts the interests of his team above his and concerns himself primarily with their welfare. Project Managers must exhibit servant leadership attributes in order to command the respect and obedience of their team members. If you are asking your team members to go down in the dungeon, you should be able to lead the way.

Project Managers can serve their team members as servant leaders by:

  1. Showing appreciation whenever goals/project objectives are met
  2. Assisting team members in anyway possible so that they can meet their objectives. As a PM, you must be willing to roll up your sleeves and get in the dirt with your team whenever the situation calls for it.
  3. Not asking team members to do what they cannot do.
  4. Being considerate in dealing with their team members.

A quote from Robert Greenleaf puts it best:

A fresh critical look is being taken at the issues of power and authority, and people are beginning to learn to relate to one another in less coercive and more supporting ways. A new moral principle is emerging, which holds that the only authority deserving of one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader. Those who choose to follow this principle will not casually accept the authority of existing institutions. Rather, they will freely respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants. To the extent that this principle prevails in the future, the only truly viable institutions will be those that are predominantly servant led.