6 Bad Behaviors That Will Destroy Servant Leadership

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Servant Leadership and How to Destroy Servant LeadershipWhat will destroy servant leadership skills?

What causes some people to become good leaders with an attitude of serving others, while many people never develop such skills?

Here are six behaviors and attitudes that will hinder the growth of being able to lead as a servant.

Arrogance Will Destroy Servant Leadership

Pride is dangerous.  It will destroy any leader.  However, it ultimately demolishes those who aim to be a servant leader.

Arrogance people produce seven patterns of behavior:

  1. They believe they are the smartest person in the crowd.
  2. This type of person thinks everything is all about them and if it is not, it should be.
  3. They cannot be quiet and listen to others.  If they do manage to be quiet, they cannot focus on what other people are saying.
  4. They are unwilling to admit when they are wrong.  In fact, arrogant people are never wrong.  So they believe.
  5. Withholding praise is a fundamental behavior of an arrogant person.
  6. Recognition of the accomplishments of others is rare.
  7. Arrogant people do not communicate respectfully.

Insecurity Will Destroy Servant Leadership

Insecurity is a destructive force.  Here are four characteristics to consider if your goal is to grow as a servant leader:

  1. Those who are insecure cannot extend trust to others. A servant leader has a character that will flow to those who trust them.
  2. Insecure people will not provide training to competent people.   They do not train people to take charge.  Insecurity does not allow this type of practice to take place.
  3. People who are insecure will not seek others for their opinions and insight.  These type of people are not those who will ask, “What do you think?”

Pride Will Destroy Servant Leadership

Henry and Richard Blackaby have this to say about how pride destroys servant leadership.

“Pride is a sin, and pride will do what sin does.  It destroys.  Leaders who allow pride to grow unchecked will eventually lose everything – their relationships, their credibility, and ultimately their position as a leader.”


Fear Will Destroy Servant Leadership

A lack of trust produces fear.

If a person cannot or will not trust other people, servant leadership will never grow in that person.

Fear separates servant leaders from others!  Here are a few concerns for any servant leader to think about: 

  1. Criticism
  2. Failure
  3. Not being popular
  4. Fear to lead due to past failures
  5. Making a mistake
  6. Fear of not being born to be a leader
  7. Not knowing enough to be a leader
  8. Being rejected

Laziness Will Destroy Servant Leadership

To be a healthy servant and a good leader will require dedication and hard work.

Laziness will hinder anyone from healthily leading a group.

The Old Testament book of Proverbs (NIV) gives good advice and warnings about being lazy.

  • Proverbs 12:24 – Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.
  • Proverbs 14:23 – All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
  • Proverbs 19:15 – Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.
  • Proverbs 24:30-34 – I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;  thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.


Laziness does not support the idea of servant leadership.

Lack of Caring Will Destroy Servant Leadership

Healthy leaders care for those they lead. A real leader who wishes to serve will show characteristics of caring for other people.

Servant leaders who want to set an example for those they lead will:

  • Lead with kindness and compassion.
  • Help to grow hope and faith in those they lead.
  • Actively encourage the spiritual and mental health of those they lead.
  • Grow an atmosphere of mutual trust.

A lack of caring will be evident to everyone on the team.

What would you add to this list of six bad behaviors of a servant leader?

Dale Roach


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