Servant Leadership Mastery

Strategies, Stories, and Stimulus for Leading with Respect Along with Results

Chapter 3.

What Do Team Members Want from Their Leader?


If employees perceive their leaders as incompetent, they may not respect them. This can occur if leaders are not equipped with the necessary skills or experience to effectively lead the team or they could be making poor decisions that negatively impact the organization.

Some of the factors causing a lack of respect towards the leader may be caused by poor communication skills, lack of integrity such as breaking the team’s trust, lack of emotional intelligence when the leader’s own emotions are not regulated, not making sound decisions with available information while not caring for the needs of the team, or simply, not making decisions at all due to fear, and not showing empathy during interactions with the team. In addition, the lack of understanding of their industry or field prevents the leader to provide guidance and support to the team members as needed.

In my field research, Pressentin (2020, 2021, 2022), COMPETENCE was a critical measuring factor in Asia for team members to show respect for their leader. Moreover, in cultures that are less individualistic but more oriented to the collective mindset, being tolerant of mistakes and communicating feedback should avoid embarrassing the team member, which case promotes a sign of respect for the team members, as they are more likely to return for more guidance, willingly.

TIP: Leaders that work on self-development and are open to sharing their growth process with the team members, build a participative exchange towards each other and encourage team members to emulate their actions.

Leaders that believe in and encourage growth develop team members like themselves, benefiting each other and contributing to organizational excellence.


Dr. Maria Pressentin is a Servant Leadership Strategist, a multi-award-winning behavioral scientist, and a leadership development professional, Maria helps people shift their mindset and apply serving-leader skills to their daily interactions. Her work involves incorporating competencies of servant leadership in organizational functional and strategic roles to build long-term vitality in businesses. Her latest book is titled “Key Factors and Use Cases of Servant Leadership Driving Organizational Performance”, IGI Global, 2021.

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