Published here July 2002.

Introduction  | Leader  | Project Management | Project Manager's Skills 
Project Manager's Types of Leadership | Servant Leadership
Ten Characteristics of a Servant-Leader | Characteristics Compared 
Project Management by a Servant Leader | Risks & Benefits | References

Project Management by a Servant Leader?

Can a project manager be a servant leader? The first answer would have been no! Without knowing what a servant leader does, most would say a manager couldn't be a servant leader. The project manager can be a leader but to serve others as described by Greenleaf and Spear surely is impossible.

Table 1 lists the various characteristics needed by a manager, a leader, a project manager, and a servant leader to be effective in their positions. These characteristics were extracted from the references quoted. An X marks the characteristic that the manager, leader, project manager, or servant leader should possess as a minimum.

Note the differences between the two columns "Project manager" and "servant Leader". It will be observed that the following characteristics are not specifically required of a project manager:

  • Coaches
  • Self confident
  • Truthful
  • Provides comfort
  • Intelligent
  • Desire to achieve
  • Optimism
  • Organizational commitment
  • Develops talent in others
  • Serves
  • Consistent
  • Dependable
  • Maintains confidences
  • Fair

If a project manager is a servant leader, he or she should strive to incorporate these servant leadership characteristics into his/her daily work. Although these characteristics are not required to be successful, with this approach the project outcomes should glorify the whole and not just the project manager.

Characteristics of Manager, Leader, Project Manager and Servant Leader  Characteristics Compared

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