What It Means to Be a Servant Leader | NAWBO


What It Means to Be a Servant Leader

"Many people think of servant leadership only in relation to their NAWBO or other volunteer commitments. But servant leadership is more than a style of volunteerism.  While a long-standing concept, in today’s business world servant leadership is considered a highly innovative style that will likely become the norm given the current workforce shift.

Inc. magazine reported that in 2020, Millennials will comprise half of the American workforce, and by 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce.  Right behind them, reports say Gen Z will make up 24% global workforce in 2020. This workforce shift likely means a shake-up in the traditional definition of ’leadership’.

Millennials are experts at collaborative tools to share ideas and innovations. Teamwork and engagement are important parts of what they look for in a company.  This is where servant leadership excels.  Servant Leaders believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond that of the work they do. They lead with a commitment to both the personal and professional growth of their employees. They share power and put the needs of others and the organization ahead of themselves. The servant leader’s others-focused management approach builds loyalty and trust within the organization – key concepts that can also drive financial performance.  A Servant Heart is not just a core element of the NAWBO Creed, it’s also a concept you can bring to your business. So it’s time to ask yourself: Are you a Servant Leader?" 

Susan Dawson, Founding Partner of Waltz, Palmer and Dawson, LLC; Director of NAWBO National and past president of NAWBO Chicago


"As small business owners, it’s very important to be involved with the local community. Yes, it is an investment of time away from your business and family, however it gives you a unique perspective and a relationship with local elected officials, chambers and retailers. In my volunteer leadership roles within the Small Business Advocacy Council and past volunteer roles with NAWBO Chicago, I’ve had the privilege to get to know many business owners, chamber leaders and elected officials. The old saying is true, people don’t care what you know as much as how much you care.

As NAWBO Chicago women, we are leaders, stewards, wives and mothers. Caring about people is natural for us. If you take that one or few steps further, getting involved in your local community makes good people AND business sense. Think long term, show up and let people know just how much you care about their business, chamber or office. They’ll appreciate it!"

Sue Kramer Harrawood, Founder of Peace of Mind Virtual Assistance


"Organizations run by servant leaders make stronger, longer lasting members because when those leaders roll up their sleeves to do the heavy lifting, the rest are more likely to respect the effort, support the mission and follow in kind. Servant leaders likely run their businesses the same way and therefore reap the benefit of loyal, hard working and dedicated employees as well."

- Michele Katz, ​Founding Partner of Advitam IP, LLC; past president of NAWBO Chicago

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