When Leaders Put Others’ Desires Above Their Own

May 11, 2023

leader coaching

Overview: Leadership coaching knows leaders who put others’ desires above their own are servant leaders. Servant leaders are good active listeners. They are empathic and focus on leading by example. Servant leadership boosts organizational cultures, employee job satisfaction, and retention.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens.

Servant leadership is one of the central themes of leadership coaching. Executive coaching specialists everywhere encourage clients to think of themselves as facilitators. Leaders should help others develop their talents and reach their goals. Servant leadership is the most effective leadership as it serves the company needs best. Here’s why.

Why Great Leaders Put Others’ Desires Above Their Own 

Servant leadership focuses on the needs of employees and other stakeholders. It prioritizes these needs, placing them above those of the leader. Servant leaders recognize it’s their responsibility to ensure an organization and the individuals that make it up work optimally and in alignment with their purpose.

Instead of personal achievements, servant leaders focus on the development, growth, and well-being of the people they lead and the organizations they steward.

Here’s what defines a servant leader:

  • Empathy. Servant leaders can place themselves in the shoes of others. Understanding how others feel and react to emotional triggers requires high levels of emotional intelligence.
  • Example. Servant leaders are models of responsible and ethical behaviors for their followers.
  • Active listening skills. To put others’ needs above their own, servant leaders must understand what those needs and desires are and what drives them. The active listening skills of the leaders contribute to creating a culture of listening, understanding, and cooperation in an organization.
  • Empowerment. Servant leaders understand that only by empowering employees can they effectively help them reach their full potential as a team and as individuals.

The goal of servant leadership is to secure employee engagement, development, and loyalty. In addition to covering the psychological needs of employees, servant leadership takes care of company needs most effectively and efficiently.

How Does Servant Leadership Benefit Organizations?

Servant leadership has a profound impact on organizational and individual performances. It prompts employees to assume psychological ownership of company goals and interests. Employees grow to see an organization as a community to which they belong and which values them.

Stronger Organizational Cultures

Leadership coaching is a steadfast advocate of coaching- and collaboration-focused organizational cultures. Positive cultures create strong, cohesive organizations and superior outcomes.

Whether they realize it or not, leaders all lead by example. They can’t preach things to people and do something else. People are sensitive to genuine manifestations of leadership. They can tell when their leaders are honest and genuine.

Servant leaders put others’ needs above their own. When seeing their leaders live by the tenets of servant leadership, employees feel inspired to follow suit. Everyone helping and coaching each other is the definition of a strong, coaching-focused company culture.

Confidence Boosts

Positivity begets positivity. A culture based on coaching and cooperation boosts the confidence of every individual employee and the entire team. Increased confidence translates to more openness toward helping others, creating a self-perpetuating virtuous cycle that keeps piling on the benefits.

Leader coaching an employee in a shop.
Caring and cooperation boost confidence on every level.

Improved Job Satisfaction

Empowered, engaged, motivated, and valued employees are more likely to love their jobs, regardless of remuneration. Financial incentives may have flash-in-the-pan effects in this respect, but they can’t equal the power of genuine caring or a willingness to help.


Executive coaching specialists see trust as the currency of leadership. Trust makes up the capital leaders build through servant leadership and use for the benefit of an organization and its individual employees.

Organizational cultures born out of servant leadership generously dispense and generate trust. As people cooperate and help each other, they pass around trust, reinforcing the bonds and relationships that together comprise the culture and success potential of their organizations.

Leaders who put others’ needs and desires above their own create strong, success-prone organizational cultures where individuals thrive for the benefit of the community.

Contact us to learn more about how you can join the IL Movement as a coach or how you can benefit from partnering with us to bring IL Solutions to you and your organization.

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