107 Servant Leadership Quotes

Everyone is a leader and will benefit from applying these servant leadership quotes

Best Servant Leadership Quotes

It's fair to characterize me as competitive and determined, but anyone who works with me will attest that I believe very strongly in the notion of servant leadership. Servant Leadership QuotesPin

It’s fair to characterize me as competitive and determined, but anyone who works with me will attest that I believe very strongly in the notion of servant leadership. Irene Rosenfeld
Servant leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and willPin
Servant leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and will act accordingly. M. Scott Peck
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. Max De Pree
Even if you are retired, you still have a responsibility to be a servant leader in society. Your talents are needed in the community. Live on purpose. Thrive, give back, and make a differencePin
Even if you are retired, you still have a responsibility to be a servant leader in society. Your talents are needed in the community. Live on purpose. Thrive, give back, and make a difference where you are. Germany Kent 
Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge. Simon Sinek
Servant leadership always empathizes, always accepts the person, but sometimes refuses to accept some of the person's effort or performance as good enough. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Servant leadership always empathizes, always accepts the person, but sometimes refuses to accept some of the person’s effort or performance as good enough. Robert K. Greenleaf
It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service. Albert Einstein
Management is the most noble of professions if it's practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team. Clayton Christensen
The dynamic tension between daring and serving creates the conditions for superior performance. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The dynamic tension between daring and serving creates the conditions for superior performance. Cheryl A. Bachelde

Servant leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win.Pin

Servant leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don’t work for you; you work for them. Ken Blanchard Servant Leadership Quotes
If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.Pin
If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader. Dolly Parton
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. Jack Welch
Service is the very purpose of life. It is the rent we pay for living on the planet.Pin
Service is the very purpose of life. It is the rent we pay for living on the planet. Marian Wright Edelman
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. Rabindranath Tagore
In a servant leadership culture, we learn by choice or example that if we want to be great, we have to serve others respectfully.Pin
In a servant leadership culture, we learn by choice or example that if we want to be great, we have to serve others respectfully. Vern Dosch
The best leaders are clear. They continually light the way, and in the process, let each person know that what they do makes a difference. The best test as a leader is Do those served grow as Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The best leaders are clear. They continually light the way, and in the process, let each person know that what they do makes a difference. The best test as a leader is: Do those served grow as persons; do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become leaders? Robert K. Greenleaf
Servant leadership is easy for people with high self-esteem. Such people have no problem giving credit to others. They have no problem listening to other people for ideas. They have no problem Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Servant leadership is easy for people with high self-esteem. Such people have no problem giving credit to others. They have no problem listening to other people for ideas. They have no problem in building other people up. Ken Blanchard
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.Pin
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. Sheryl Sandberg
Who, then is the greatest leader The one who has served the most.Pin
Who, then is the greatest leader? The one who has served the most. James Hunter
Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration--of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration–of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the hear and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine. Lance Secretan
We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead.Pin
We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead. William Arthur Ward
Organizations exist to serve. Period. Leaders live to serve. Period.Pin
Organizations exist to serve. Period. Leaders live to serve. Period. Tom Peters
Don’t believe everything you think. Our minds are thought-creating machines. Most of these thoughts are fear-based. Our authentic self has the power to pick the thoughts that best serve us andPin
Don’t believe everything you think. Our minds are thought-creating machines. Most of these thoughts are fear-based. Our authentic self has the power to pick the thoughts that best serve us and those we lead. Henna Inman
One of the topics I’m most passionate about is servant leadership—the greatest leaders recognize that they’re here to serve, not to be served.Pin
One of the topics I’m most passionate about is servant leadership—the greatest leaders recognize that they’re here to serve, not to be served. Ken Blanchard
A true natural servant automatically responds to any problem by listening firstPin
A true natural servant automatically responds to any problem by listening first. Robert Greenleaf

Short Servant Leadership Quotes

A life without a cause is a life without effect. Servant Leadership QuotesPin

A life without a cause is a life without effect. Paulo Coelho
Authority is always built on service and sacrifice.Pin
Authority is always built on service and sacrifice. James C. Hunter
Bosses push, leaders pull. Real leadership is servant leadership. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Bosses push, leaders pull. Real leadership is servant leadership. Dave Ramsey
Good leaders must first become good servants.Pin
Good leaders must first become good servants. Robert K. Greenleaf
Identify your divine gift and use it to serve humanity. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Identify your divine gift and use it to serve humanity. Lailah Gifty Akita
If leadership serves only the leader, it will fail.Pin
If leadership serves only the leader, it will fail. Sheila Murray
If serving is below you, then leadership is below you. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
If serving is below you, then leadership is below you. Bishop Dale Bronner
Leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders.Pin
Leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders. Tom Peters Servant Leadership Quotes
Leadership is about being a servant first. Pin
Leadership is about being a servant first.  Allen West
Leadership is an opportunity to serve.Pin
Leadership is an opportunity to serve. J. Donald Walters
Most servant leaders I know have a kind of quiet joy.Pin
Most servant leaders I know have a kind of quiet joy. Ken Blanchard
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.Pin
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. Albert Einstein
Servant Leadership begins with self-examination.Pin
Servant Leadership begins with self-examination. Cheryl Bachelder
Servant leadership propels organizational success.Pin
Servant leadership propels organizational success. Ken Blanchard
Serving others prepares you to lead others. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Serving others prepares you to lead others. Jim George
The real power lies in service to others.Pin
The real power lies in service to others. Cheryl Bachelder
Life is not important except for its impact on other lives. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Life is not important except for its impact on other lives. Jackie Robinson
The heart of the leader is manifested through service to others.Pin
The heart of the leader is manifested through service to others. Artika Tyner
The miracle is this–the more we share, the more we have. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The miracle is this–the more we share, the more we have. Leonard Nimoy
There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.Pin
There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people. George W. Bush
Weak leaders expect service; strong leaders give it. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Weak leaders expect service; strong leaders give it. Unknown

Inspirational Servant Leadership Quotes

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires but in his integrity and in his ability to affect those around him positively.Pin

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires but in his integrity and in his ability to affect those around him positively. Bob Marley
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. Marian Anderson
We don’t create value in the world, except by serving.Pin
We don’t create value in the world, except by serving.  John Stahlwert
The servant leader is servant first … It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. The conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead … The difference manifests Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The servant leader is servant first … It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. The conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead … The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant—first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. Robert K. Greenleaf
Serving others breaks you free from the shackles of self and self-absorption that choke out the joy of living.Pin
Serving others breaks you free from the shackles of self and self-absorption that choke out the joy of living. James Hunter
The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them. Rabbi Harold Kushner
Serving people means growing their capacity and implies that everyone can contribute.Pin
Serving people means growing their capacity and implies that everyone can contribute. Juana Bordas
Allow the way to your great work to be guided by your service to others. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Allow the way to your great work to be guided by your service to others. Artika Tyner
I’ll lift you and you’ll lift me and we’ll both ascend together.Pin
I’ll lift you and you’ll lift me and we’ll both ascend together. John Greenleaf Whittier Servant Leadership Quotes
What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, is and remains immortal. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, is and remains immortal.  Albert Pine
If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.Pin
If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them. Lao Tzu
The quality of a true warrior is that he is in service to a purpose greater than himself; that is, to a transcendent cause. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The quality of a true warrior is that he is in service to a purpose greater than himself; that is, to a transcendent cause. Robert Bly
True leadership is servanthood. Put the interests of others at the center of your decisions.Pin
True leadership is servanthood. Put the interests of others at the center of your decisions. Dave Ramsey
Your rewards in life will be in direct proportion to the value of your service to others. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Your rewards in life will be in direct proportion to the value of your service to others. Brian Tracy
The servant leader believes that ‘my success is your success.Pin
The servant leader believes that ‘my success is your success. Unknown
The best leaders are servant leaders – they serve those they lead.Pin
The best leaders are servant leaders – they serve those they lead.  Tony Hsieh
The true heroes of the new millennium will be servant leaders, quietly working out of the spotlight to transform our world.Pin
The true heroes of the new millennium will be servant leaders, quietly working out of the spotlight to transform our world. Ann McGee-Cooper
Before we too can move mountains, we must learn to walk the daily grind, one quiet step at a time. We must learn to serve before we can lead. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Before we too can move mountains, we must learn to walk the daily grind, one quiet step at a time. We must learn to serve before we can lead.  Sebastien Richard
The first and most important choice a leader makes is the choice to serve, without which one’s capacity to lead is severely limited.Pin
The first and most important choice a leader makes is the choice to serve, without which one’s capacity to lead is severely limited. Robert Greenleaf
The theory of servant leadership is vital, but the active Serving Leader makes the critical difference. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The theory of servant leadership is vital, but the active Serving Leader makes the critical difference.  Ken Jennings
Twenty-first-century leadership relationship dynamics are from the bottom up rather than the top down; from the outside in, rather than the inside out.Pin
Twenty-first-century leadership relationship dynamics are from the bottom up rather than the top down; from the outside in, rather than the inside out.  James M. Strock
There is great joy in leading with authority, which is serving others by meeting their legitimate needs. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
There is great joy in leading with authority, which is serving others by meeting their legitimate needs. James C. Hunter

Servant Leadership Quotes from Servant Leaders

A leader… is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.Pin

A leader… is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind. Nelson Mandela
Success is… knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Success is… knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others. John Maxwell 
Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others.Pin
Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.Pin
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. Maya Angelou
I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people. Nelson Mandela
I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.Pin
I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. Mahatma Gandhi
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
It has generally been my experience that the very top people of truly great organizations are servant-leaders.Pin It has generally been my experience that the very top people of truly great organizations are servant-leaders. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
It has generally been my experience that the very top people of truly great organizations are servant-leaders. Stephen Covey
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Pin
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. Nelson Mandela
It’s all about attitude, one that is caring and focused on filling the needs of others. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
It’s all about attitude, one that is caring and focused on filling the needs of others. John Maxwell
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for othersPin
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ Martin Luther King, Jr.
People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. John Maxwell Servant Leadership Quotes
Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.Pin
Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives. Michelle Obama
The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it. Mother Teresa

Thought Provoking Servant Leadership Quotes

One of the best ways I can show my son to be a servant leader is to serve my wife.Pin

One of the best ways I can show my son to be a servant leader is to serve my wife. Matt Tenney
Servant leadership teaches us that you have to lay your cards on the table. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Servant leadership teaches us that you have to lay your cards on the table. Warren G. Bennis
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.Pin
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Mahatma Gandhi
Your gifts are not about you. Leadership is not about you. Your purpose is not about you. A life of significance is about serving those who need your gifts, your leadership, your purpose. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Your gifts are not about you. Leadership is not about you. Your purpose is not about you. A life of significance is about serving those who need your gifts, your leadership, your purpose. Kevin Hall
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.Pin
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill
Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients. Richard Branson
Moral authority is another way to define servant leadership because it represents a reciprocal choice between leader and follower. If the leader is principle centered, he or she will developPin
Moral authority is another way to define servant leadership because it represents a reciprocal choice between leader and follower. If the leader is principle centered, he or she will develop moral authority. If the follower is principle centered, he or she will follow the leader. In this sense, both leaders and followers are followers. Why? They follow truth. They follow natural law. They follow principles. They follow a common, agreed-upon vision. They share values. They grow to trust one another. Robert K. Greeleaf
You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar
A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self-promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.Pin
A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self-promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity. Mollie Marti
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. Booker Washington Servant Leadership Quotes
You have to find the intersection of doing something you’re passionate about and that, at the same time, is in the service of other people. I would argue if you don’t find that intersection, you’rePin
You have to find the intersection of doing something you’re passionate about and that, at the same time, is in the service of other people. I would argue if you don’t find that intersection, you’re not going to be very happy. Tim Cook
You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go. Jeanette Rankin
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say we did it ourselves.Pin
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. Lao Tzu
I devoted myself to the task of the welfare of my countrymen—not as a ruler but as a servant. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
I devoted myself to the task of the welfare of my countrymen—not as a ruler but as a servant. Sheikh Hasina
Coaching is the most important servantleadership element in helping people accomplish their goals.Pin
Coaching is the most important servant/leadership element in helping people accomplish their goals. Bill Hybels
If you start out to solely make money, you will attract the wrong kind of employees. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
If you start out to solely make money, you will attract the wrong kind of employees. Guy Kawasaki
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.Pin
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. Richard Branson
This is a service station, we offer service. There is no higher purpose. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
This is a service station, we offer service. There is no higher purpose. Nick Nolte
Leadership must first and foremost meet the needs of others.Pin
Leadership must first and foremost meet the needs of others. Robert Greenleaf
The goal of many leaders is to get people to think more highly of the leader. The goal of a great leader is to help people to think more highly of themselves. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The goal of many leaders is to get people to think more highly of the leader. The goal of a great leader is to help people to think more highly of themselves. J. Carla Nortcutt
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. Serve and thou shall be served.Pin
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. Serve and thou shall be served. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. Servant Leadership QuotesPin
The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. Woodrow Wilson
Pin
What originally led us to serve others by leading them seldom remains our North Star. Dan B. Allender

Summary

The best definition of servant leader that I have been able to find is from TechTarget.com

“Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy built on the belief that the most effective leaders strive to serve others, rather than accrue power or take control. The aforementioned others can include customers, partners, fellow employees and the community at large.”

The concept of servant leader was first identified by Robert K. Greenleaf.  To summarize his thoughts:

The servant leader is servant first … It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. … Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. …

… The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? … [and become] more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?

According to Forbes.com employees are more likely to feel heard in an environment of servant leadership. They are 4.6 times more likely to work diligently as a result. 

Here are ten attributes that servant leaders possess:

These are not listed in order of importance.  

They are all important traits to develop in becoming a servant leader.

  1. Stewardship.  Definition: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.  Everyone in an organization, including the leader, is responsible for making sure that they are behaving in a way that benefits the greater good of society.
  2. Foresight. The ability to accurately conceptualize the long term consequences of decisions.
  3. Awareness. The true servant leader has both self awareness as well as a general awareness for what is going on around them.  Specific areas of awareness aer values, power, and ethics.
  4. Commitment to the growth of people.  That is both personally and professionaly.  Some ways (but not the only ways) to do this are involving everyone in decision making and fully or parially funding growth opportunities such as seminars or online courses.
  5. Healing.  Relationship healing is a potent catalyst for change and integration. The ability to mend one’s relationships with others is one of servant leadership’s greatest advantages. Many people have been emotionally wounded in various ways. Servant leaders understand that they have the chance to contribute to the healing of others who come into contact with them.
  6. Conceptualization. The need to meet immediate operational goals consumes the typical leader. The leader must broaden their thinking to include more expansive conceptual thinking if they also want to be a servant leader. Servant leaders are required to strike a careful balance between intellectual thought and a practical approach to day-to-day operations.
  7. Persuasion.  Servant leaders do not rely solely on using their positional authority.  Instead of demanding conformity, a servant leader works to persuade people.
  8. Empathy. The servant leader recognizes the individuality of each person in the organization.   She or he assumes that others in the organization are performing their duties with the best of intentions.  A servant leader does not make judgements upon them as people even when there is a disagreement or an issue with job performance.
  9. Listening. The servant leader works to understand the group’s will and aids in its clarification. He or she pays attentive attention to both spoken and unspoken messages. Hearing one’s own inner voice is included in the process of listening. The servant leader’s development and wellbeing depend on listening and times of reflection.
  10. Building community. Servant leaders look for ways to foster a sense of community among employees in their organization.
  11. Visited 380 times, 1 visit(s) today

Contact Us