The Alliance for Servant Leadership offers the following guidelines for servant leadership. They are meant as guidelines for servant leaders to discover and apply for themselves in a way that best suits their situation. They aren't meant as rigid rules or criteria.

  • Transformation as a vehicle for personal and institutional growth to improve the quality of life for all stakeholders or members of a community.
  • Personal growth as an end in itself to enrich the individual as well as the group.
  • Enabling environments that empower and encourage service, that recognize the equal worth of every person and that foster the achievement of everyone's full potential.
  • Service as a fundamental goal in the belief that anyone accepting the role of leader should do so out of the desire to be of service to others.
  • Trusting relationships as the foundation for collaboration and service, affirming that all relationships should be based on trust and mutual respect, not power, status or coercion.
  • Creating commitment as a way of enlisting everyone's contribution rather than manipulation or some other superficial form of motivation.
  • Community building to create environments in which people can trust each other and work together, recognizing that people work best in collaboration, in teams.
  • Nurturing the spirit, creating the conditions in which everyone can find meaningful work and satisfaction through their contributions.

Where do you want to go from here?

Learn about servant leader traits.

Take a servant leader quiz to explore your servant leader potential.

Read about an alternative to servant leadership. Or more on this alternative: The Post-Heroic Manager.

Read the servant leadership stories of others.

See Servant Leader Principles or an alternative to servant leadership. Also see: No Servant Leaders for an in depth look at why serving people shouldn't be considered a way of leading them. See also The Post-Heroic Manager for a replacement for servant leadership.

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