Is leading others something you aspire to do as you advance in your career? Do you value the power of teamwork as a necessary part of strengthening an organization’s growth and success? If so, perhaps furthering your education is a long-term goal and earning an accelerated, online Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) degree from Ottawa University is on your radar. But, what about the short term? There is a way to prepare yourself for leadership success even before you enroll in a leadership graduate degree program.
What is Servant Leadership?
How can you achieve this, you might ask? By employing the tenets of servant leadership in your current job. Servant leadership is a management style in which you lead by putting the needs of your team first. Servant leaders actively contribute to the personal development and performance of their team and believe that when their team members feel personally and professionally fulfilled, they produce higher quality work more efficiently and productively. If you are interested in pursuing a successful career in management, then mastering the skills of servant leadership should be a priority for you.
Advantages of Servant Leadership
The power of servant leadership is in focusing on the needs of others, especially team members, before you consider your own. This can be displayed by acknowledging other people's perspectives, giving them the support they need to meet their work and personal goals, involving them in decisions where appropriate, and building a sense of community within your team. All of this leads to higher engagement, more trust, and stronger relationships with team members and other stakeholders. Servant leadership is less a style or technique and is more a way of behaving that you adopt over the longer term.
Five Characteristics of Servant Leadership
To become an effective servant leader, work on mastering the following characteristics:
- Listening - Servant leaders listen receptively and nonjudgmentally. They are much more interested in hearing the viewpoints of others than having their voice be the loudest in the room. Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.
- Appreciation - Servant leaders value people and appreciate them for who they are, not just for what they give to the organization. Servant leaders are committed first and foremost to their people.
- Humility - Servant leaders do not promote themselves; they put other people first. They are actually humble, not humble as an act. Servant leaders know leadership is not all about them—things are accomplished through others.
- Trust - Servant leaders give trust to others. They willingly take this risk for the people they serve. Servant leaders are trusted because they are authentic and dependable.
- Caring - Servant leaders have people and purpose in their heart. They display a kindness and concern for others. As the term servant leadership implies, servant leaders are here to serve, not to be served. Servant leaders truly care for the people they serve.
Need for Servant Leaders
There is a mountain of statistical evidence linked to the proven effectiveness of leaders who have mastered the aforementioned traits. Yet, at the same time, so many managers are experiencing unprecedented leadership failures. The essence of servant leaders has more to do with who you are and how you treat others. The position or title is secondary. Research suggests that managers who focus on service to others are more successful than those who do not.
Benefits of Earning a Degree in Leadership
Even if you have not yet practiced servant leadership, then pursuing a leadership graduate degree with Ottawa University will help enhance your awareness of your values and how those values are reflected in your decisions and actions. The online MAL degree will help you gain the management, communication, and people skills needed to pursue a career in management and become the leader your organization needs in times of change. Curriculum for the MAL delves into the human elements of business, such as communication techniques, leadership theory, multicultural workplace dynamics and team development. There is even a class devoted to the specific topic of servant leadership. By emphasizing more personal and creative approaches to management, a leadership graduate degree enables students to work with the emotional intelligence of individual subordinates and inspire them to reach their full potential.
Why Choose Ottawa?
Ottawa University’s flexible, online MAL is the best, fastest, and most affordable leadership graduate degree in the institution’s adult markets of Arizona, Kansas, and Wisconsin. The program holds the esteemed accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), showing the high levels of business teaching within this degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Ottawa University and its online programs near the top of the best colleges in Kansas City.
Career advancement awaits with Ottawa University’s online Master of Arts in Leadership degree. Why not take the first step now? To learn more about earning this degree and more, contact an enrollment advisor today!
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