Are You a Servant Leader in Your Community?

Loura K. Sanchez | Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Community Associations Miscellaneous

The real question may actually be whether you want to be a servant leader or some other type of leader.  In a thought provoking article on the topic, Chuck Miller, explores what type of leaders work best in community associations.  I agree with Mr. Miller that there is likely no “right” answer as the type of community, the engagement of the members, the resources available and the style of the board member are all factors in what leadership style will produce the best results in your community.  To be an effective servant leader, the article outlines 12 key characteristics that the leader must embody.  Do you?

Awareness: understand your own values, biases, strengths and weaknesses as well as the values of those served

Foresight: sense of how the past, present and future of your community are connected

Stewardship: understand that you are holding the communities’ resources in trust for all members

Listening: listen effectively

Empathy: understand and appreciate the perspective of others

Persuasion: recognized for your ability to influence others through persuasive capabilities

Conceptualization: integrate present realities with future possibilities (e.g. make it happen)

Commitment: think about others not yourself

Building community: create a sense of belonging

Diversity: value diverse opinions and seek out opposing points of view

Trust: cultivate a culture of trust

Humility: don’t wear your title as a badge or wield title for power, it is about others

In future blogs I will explore the keys to developing these characteristics and how they can benefit your community and further your leadership style.


Thank you, Loura! I agree 100%, but have found that, today, most community leaders do not possess these characteristics, because they are impelled by ego.

Mr. Rodgers had in right, "a good neighbor". What is a good neighbor? One that would do unto others as he wants them to do to him. One that has no power over any other, but is there to make the community come together in harmony and unity. With this perspective many conflicts and problems will be amicably resolved, and I might add that a lot of time and money will be saved.

We should read this Blog every day. Joyce Boogren

It’s a good idea to pose the question about leadership and from my perspective it’s a misunderstood role. We tend to think of leadership as hero or servant. The ‘hero’ leader swoops in to save the day, often as the only person that has the solution. It may be unintentional, it may be ego, yet either way it only creates a sense of dependency and that’s never productive for any entity. I recently attended a conference and we discussed a third alternative leadership model…leadership as host. As a host you receive and entertain participants (think of how you handle guests at a party). Frequently this involves stepping up to plan, invite, introduce, joining and facilitate. The host as metaphor encompasses all aspects of hero and servant leadership and works for me as I seek to be the leader of my team.

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