Servant Leadership is More Than an Overused “Feel Good”

Class run chart from a high school art classroom

The happiest leaders, whether leading a classroom, a school or a system are servant leaders. This term is far more than an overused “feel good.” It is easy to be a boss that gives out orders and then evaluates. No joy, but fairly easy. It is easy to be the person who is like the “errand boy” delivering whatever each individual desires. A servant leader is neither of these.

First of all the servant leader helps the group of students or adults agree upon what is to be accomplished and then guides the people as they achieve what everyone desires. It is hard, but when accomplished, it brings the most joy for a leader. The included image is a class run chart from a high school art classroom. The students desire for the run chart to increase and the teacher-leader is helping the students achieve what they all desire. I do not know who is happier when the class run chart goes up — the teacher or the students. Maybe both are equally happy.

The leader changes the group of students into a team with a common aim. The servant helps the team achieve what they all desire. Everyone knows that this practice occurs often is sports; now it happens in classrooms also.

One final note: At the end of this school year ask your current students what should be removed from the key concept list as it is either not important or it is too easy. Then ask the students what should be added for the next year. Servant leadership is possible even the last week of the school year!