Servant leadership implies the concept of a leader also being a good servant. Various advocates of servant leadership include big names such as Robert K. Greenleaf, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Lao Tzu, etc. This Quotabulary article enlists some famous quotes on servant leadership.
Popular Servant Leadership Books
►Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership: Practicing the Wisdom of Leading by Serving by James W. Sipe, Don M. Frick
►The Power of Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf
►Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness by Robert K. Greenleaf.
Servant leadership is a concept that has place in ancient philosophy, with advocates such as Lao Tzu (philosopher of ancient China, author of Tao Te Ching) and Chanakya (great philosopher, teacher, and economist of ancient India, adviser to Emperor Chandragupta). A good leader should take into consideration the thoughts and ideas of everyone. If he learns to be a good servant first, then only he can be a good leader. In the Bible too, servant leadership is advocated. Foot washing of the disciples by Lord Jesus implies humility, and advocates the principle that to be great, you must be able to serve others.
Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi were among those who served the nation while acting as their leader. Leadership does not imply that you should be in a dominating position and dictate your terms as per your wishes and whims. You’re ‘serving’ as a leader. Also, that does not mean that a leader must be submissive and weak. It is looking apart from your own selfish goals, and helping subordinates excel in their work. A good leader will definitely stand apart from a ‘boss’. He may be among his team members as any other member, but without him the team will fall apart. In the modern sense, it is Robert K. Greenleaf who has been accredited for the propaganda of servant leadership.
Quotes by Robert K. Greenleaf
Good leaders must first become good servants.
Ego can’t sleep. It micro-manages. It disempowers. It reduces our capability. It excels in control.
Where there is not community, trust, respect, ethical behavior are difficult for the young to learn and for the old to maintain.
But perhaps the greatest threat is that we lack the mechanism of consensus, a way of making up our collective minds.
It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.
Quotes by Lao Tzu
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
“To lead people, walk beside them …
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate …
When the best leader’s work is done the people say,
We did it ourselves!”
Quotes by Ken Blanchard
Servant leadership is easy for people with high self-esteem. Such people have no problem giving credit to others. They have no problem listening to other people for ideas. They have no problem in building other people up.
Servant leadership propels organizational success.
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
Quotes from the Bible
But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.
― Luke 22:26
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
― Matthew 20:26-28
A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.”
― Mollie Marti
The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.
― Woodrow Wilson
… the king [leader] is a paid servant and enjoys the resources of the state together with the people.
If you can’t handle others’ disapproval, then leadership isn’t for you.
― Miles Anthony Smith, Why Leadership Sucks: Fundamentals of Level 5 Leadership and Servant Leadership
Serving others prepares you to lead others.
― Jim George
Organizations exist to serve. Period. Leaders live to serve. Period.
― Tom Peters
Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.
― Martin Luther King Jr
The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.
― Mother Teresa.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
― Mahatma Gandhi
It has generally been my experience that the very top people of truly great organizations are servant-leaders.
― Stephen Covey
A good leader cares enough to give his or her best people feedback…. And that’s how I’d describe my leadership: servant leadership…. I’ve always been trained with the inverted pyramid, where the customer is on top.
― John Donahoe
The true heroes of the new millennium will be servant leaders, quietly working out of the spotlight to transform our world.
― Ann McGee-Cooper
Leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders.
― Tom Peters