Embrace Servant Leadership as a Delivery Lead

Today, an increasing number of organisations are appreciating the value of servant leadership. With its roots embedded in empathy, empowerment, and collaboration, this leadership approach has proven remarkably effective in modern business landscapes. As an Agile Delivery Lead, I can attest to the transformative power of servant leadership in driving team performance and delivering value.

Servant leadership revolves around serving the more significant needs of the team

In this blog post, I aim to inspire my fellow Agile Delivery Leads on how to harness the principles of servant leadership to become more effective in their roles. I’ll offer insights from my experience, focusing on embodying visible leadership, inspiring through thought and action, and fostering an empowering and collaborative environment.

The Core of Servant Leadership

At its heart, servant leadership revolves around serving the more significant needs of the team. As a servant leader, you should exhibit behaviours that influence and inspire those around you, recognising what is valuable and helpful to others and your team. It would be best to strive to make these elements visible, showing leadership in driving strategic direction without dictating.

Indeed, servant leadership is about leading from within, inspiring others through ‘thought and deed’, and employing language to reinforce and promote the empowerment of others. It requires a genuine curiosity and interest in everything around you to challenge and examine options and decisions.

This involves creating an open dialogue, actively listening, and genuinely valuing the perspectives of others. Doing so creates a culture of trust and respect where each team member feels valued and heard. This approach enhances team cohesion and fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members.

Servant leadership involves creating a safe space for risk-taking and innovation. It encourages team members to step out of their comfort zones, experiment with new ideas, and learn from their failures. This promotes a growth mindset and drives creativity and innovation within the team.

Furthermore, servant leadership is about recognising and nurturing each team member’s unique skills and talents. It involves providing the necessary resources and support to excel in their roles. This not only boosts individual performance but also contributes to the overall success and productivity of the team.

Visible Leadership: Leading by Example

As a servant leader, it’s crucial to demonstrate ‘Visible Leadership’. This means leading by example and being seen to lead yourself. It’s about leading from within, showing the team the way by embodying the principles you advocate. As an Agile Delivery Lead, you must be a living example of the values you expect from your team. By making your actions visible, you establish trust and credibility, creating a culture where everyone feels empowered to contribute. One of the critical aspects of visible leadership is creating a clear vision and communicating it effectively to your team. This helps set the direction and provides a sense of purpose that can motivate team members to strive towards common goals.

Visible leadership also involves being accountable for your actions and decisions and showing resilience in facing challenges. It’s about embodying the values you want your team to adopt and consistently acting in a way that aligns with them. By doing so, you earn your team’s respect and trust and inspire them to emulate these behaviours in their roles.

Visible leadership requires maintaining a high level of engagement with your team. This includes regularly checking their progress, acknowledging their efforts, and providing constructive feedback. By staying actively involved, you demonstrate your commitment to the team’s success and foster a supportive and collaborative work environment.

Inspiring Through Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is another vital aspect of servant leadership. This involves inspiring others through your ideas, insights, and actions. As a thought leader, you must utilise collaborative working methods to coach others in their day-to-day roles.

You can plant the seed of inspiration by sharing an idea or asking a well-considered question. You can inspire your team to be themselves, deliver, and create. Permitting people to try things without repercussions if things don’t go as expected can build confidence in others and lead to mastery.

In this process, it’s important to remember that inspiration is a two-way street. Encourage open dialogue and active listening, fostering a culture where everyone’s thoughts are valued and considered. This promotes a sense of ownership among team members and leads to a more diverse and innovative set of ideas.

Empowering Through Collaborative Leadership

Servant leadership is also about empowering others. This involves creating an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and motivated to contribute their best. As a servant leader, you should promote a culture of collaboration, encouraging team members to share their ideas, insights, and feedback.

This way, you’re not imposing your views to drive desired outcomes but instead fostering an environment where everyone feels empowered to contribute to the team’s success.

By doing so, you’re facilitating the exchange of ideas and nurturing a sense of shared responsibility and mutual respect. This collaborative approach can lead to more effective problem-solving, improved decision-making, and a more successful and cohesive team. It’s about creating a space where everyone’s voice matters and where every idea has the potential to drive progress.

Curiosity in Leadership: Challenging and Examining Options

Curiosity plays a significant role in servant leadership. It’s about genuine interest in everything around you and using this curiosity to challenge and examine options and decisions. As a leader, you should encourage your team to look at the broader perspective, promoting a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

By fostering curiosity, you encourage your team to question the status quo, explore new possibilities, and seek innovative solutions. This enhances their problem-solving skills and promotes a culture of continuous improvement and growth. It’s about creating an environment where curiosity is rewarded, and every question is an opportunity for learning and development.

Servant leaders must also be comfortable with change and uncertainty. They should encourage their teams to embrace change as an opportunity for growth and innovation. This involves fostering a culture of adaptability, where team members are prepared for change and excited about the potential opportunities it brings. It’s about creating an environment where change is seen not as a threat but as a catalyst for improvement and progress.

Leading in a Tech-Driven Environment

Servant leadership is crucial in a tech-driven environment. As an Agile Delivery Lead, you should work alongside clients and help your software development teams deliver better in a consultative, collaborative fashion.

In this digital age, staying updated with the latest technological advancements and trends is crucial. As a servant leader, you should facilitate the adoption of new technologies and encourage your team to leverage these tools to enhance their productivity and efficiency. This includes providing the necessary training and resources, fostering a culture of digital literacy, and promoting a mindset of continuous technological learning and adaptation.

In technology, servant leaders must also be adept at managing the challenges and risks associated with digital transformation. This includes understanding the potential security risks, ensuring data privacy, and implementing robust cybersecurity measures. As a leader, you should also be prepared to manage any resistance to technological change within your team and help them navigate the transition smoothly.

The Power of Authentic Leadership

Authentic leadership is about being true to yourself and leading with integrity. As a servant leader, you should exhibit authenticity in your interactions with your team. This includes being open to feedback, acknowledging your mistakes, and demonstrating your commitment to your team’s growth and development.

Transparency is a crucial aspect of servant leadership. It involves being open about the decision-making process, sharing information freely, and admitting when you’re wrong. As a servant leader, you should strive to build trust with your team by being transparent in your actions and communications. This fosters a sense of trust and respect among team members and encourages them to be open and honest in their interactions. It’s about creating a culture where transparency is valued, and everyone feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns.

In addition to transparency, empathy is another crucial component of servant leadership. It involves understanding and sharing the feelings of your team members, showing genuine concern for their well-being, and making decisions that consider their interests. As a servant leader, you should strive to create an environment where empathy is valued and practised, fostering stronger connections within the team. This enhances team cohesion and boosts morale and motivation, leading to improved performance and productivity.


Servant leadership is a powerful approach that can significantly enhance team performance and foster a positive working environment. By embracing the principles of servant leadership, Agile Delivery Leads can inspire their teams, foster a culture of empowerment and collaboration, and drive successful project deliveries.

Remember, the journey to becoming a great leader is continuous, requiring constant learning, growth, and adaptation. But with commitment, empathy, and a genuine desire to serve, you can harness the power of servant leadership and make a transformative impact on your team and organisation.