The Role Servant Leaders Play in Building a Culture of Courageous Resilience

Servant leadership flips the traditional organizational hierarchy and considers employees, rather than leaders, as most important. What it doesn’t mean is leaders giving up their power. Rather it’s about building a relationship between employees and management that is a genuine partnership – with a focus on positive outcomes for all the role servant leaders play.

Servant leaders genuinely care about the growth and well-being of others, and this fosters a deeper sense of commitment from everyone to the role servant leaders play.

I encourage you to think about what your role as a servant leader in a crisis really could be… are you a passenger on the high-speed train or are you the conductor? 

Fear can convince you to remain a passenger, simply dealing with challenges as they arise, and allowing the crisis to determine your destiny. 

But as a leader, your role is to be the conductor, guiding your team in charting a new path. As a servant leader, your greatest opportunity is making a human connection with the community going through this with you. Ask yourself “how do we get through this together and be a better, stronger team as we move beyond the crisis?” 

You have the power to step up to this role. 

In his book, Servant Leadership in Action, Ken Blanchard describes servant leadership as “an influence process in which you try to help people accomplish goals.” 

 For Blanchard servant leadership is comprised of two parts: 

  • A visionary/direction or strategic role – the leadership aspect of servant leadership; and 
  • An implementation, or operational, role – the servant aspect of servant leadership.

Blanchard further explains that “the servant aspect of servant leadership is all about turning the (traditional organizational) hierarchy upside down, and helping everyone throughout the organization develop great relationships, get great results, and, eventually, delight their customers. That’s what servant leadership is all about.” 

Are you stepping up to this role? 

As you forge ahead as conductor of that high-speed train, navigating the day-to-day challenges that arise, the twists and turns are going to be rocky for your passengers. Just as you have to work through a crisis emotionally, so does your team. Leading with resilience requires humility and humanity. 

Humility in being transparent to the fact that the crisis is also tough on you. Humanity in the compassion and empathy you have for your team as you support them in their individual and collective journey to resilience. 

Your role as a leader is to embody these qualities as you guide your team and help them build their resilience muscles. You can create a culture of resilience that permeates throughout the organization, strengthening resolve, employee engagement and retention, even in an environment of uncertainty and turnover. 

Are you stepping up to this role?

If you could use support in becoming this servant leader, or need to develop these qualities within your team, contact me. I’m here to help.

You can also visit https://ResilienceReady.Today to learn more.


She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

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