What is the Mindset of a Servant Leader?

Daniel Michael Hurt

April 7, 2023


Servant leadership is a mindset that values putting the needs of others first. It has increased employee engagement, improved teamwork, and produced financial results.

Leaders who practice servant leadership also develop the skills of empathy, listening, stewardship, and commitment to people’s growth. These skills are known to impact employees’ job satisfaction more than other leadership styles.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. It’s a skill that helps people build strong relationships and thrive personally and professionally.

It also helps people at risk for suicide feel understood and supported. This connection encourages them to seek help and support from their loved ones.

Often, empathy can be hard to practice because it’s not easy to see yourself in someone else’s struggle. It’s like climbing down a deep hole to sit beside the person in pain and listen without judgment.

Research has found that empathy is crucial in helping others and improving performance. However, empathy isn’t a simple skill and requires time, energy, and skill to master.


Empowerment is a mindset that helps individuals feel confident, empowered, and capable. This allows people to make better decisions and achieve their goals.

In addition, empowerment can help people avoid burnout and create a positive work environment. It can also increase employee job satisfaction and commitment, boosting productivity.

Servant leaders also practice interpersonal empowerment, fostering trust and vulnerability among team members. This can be done through workshops and meetings where employees have opportunities to build each other up.

Empathetic leaders can also encourage healing, which can help members of their team heal from toxic work experiences or other problems. They can also foster healthy work-life balance so that members of their teams can take time to rest and grow.

A servant leader can also empower others by developing their skills and allowing them to take on responsibility for tasks that they are not skilled at or confident in. This can free up time for them to focus on their career development and goals.


Compassion is a mindset that can help you make the world a better place. It promotes social and emotional well-being, strengthens relationships, and creates communities.

It can also solve the world’s biggest problems and foster world peace. It’s the ability to feel what others are feeling and act when you see someone suffering.

Traditionally, compassion was defined as being aware of and moved by another person’s suffering (Gilbert 2010, Wispe 1991). It is often viewed as incorporating the ability to adopt a non-judgmental stance towards others and tolerate one’s own distress when faced with another person’s suffering.

The five elements of compassion include kindness, mindfulness, common humanity, compassion directed inward, and altruism. These factors are outlined in the following table.


A servant leader’s listening ability is key to their leadership success. It can help them understand the needs of others and make the right decisions for their teams.

Traditionally, leaders have been valued for their communication and decision-making skills. However, a deep commitment to listening intently to others needs to reinforce these skills.

This mindset also encompasses the ability to hear one’s inner voice and seek to understand what is happening inside their body, spirit, and mind.

Everyone has discriminative listening skills, which means they can listen for certain cues that indicate what’s being said is important or relevant to them. They may use nonverbal cues like eye contact, nodding, or other behaviors to tell the other person they are paying attention and processing what is being said.