I recently was included in an online article offering my take on Servant Leadership. You can read the piece here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=futureofwork I thought I would dive a little deeper into the subject matter.
Like anything, it’s an easy term to toss around, but living out Servant Leadership isn’t for everyone. First, you have to check your ego at the door, and secondly, you have to truly care about people. I’m sure most people think they are both but reality proves otherwise. Too many people are climbing the corporate ladder at the expense of others and their own virtues. They will do whatever it takes to get to the top. This is not Servant Leadership.
By caring about your team, you put their needs ahead of your own. You fight battles and clear the way for them to excel. And when they get promoted or leave your company for the next step in their career, you cheer them on unlike a boss I had. I was a high-achiever, learning and growing quickly. I wanted to use all my abilities and talents, and that required leaving a secretarial position so that I could join an advertising agency. My boss was not happy for me. Worse, she was angry at me. She berated me, called me names and wished me ill because I was leaving my position under her. This is not Servant Leadership even though it was a Christian company.
Sometimes as a servant leader, we may feel like we get overlooked and under-appreciated, but if we are doing our job, we are okay with that. Our legacy is the careers of others that have taken off, and we watch in awe as we see others blossom, grow and succeed. Our example hopefully passes that torch onto the next generation of leaders as they, too, help others achieve great things.
Servant leaders invest their time, energy and budget in their people. They walk their talk and follow through. They are available, offer a listening ear and provide constructive guidance. This is Servant Leadership, and it builds strong, cohesive and productive teams. Yes, it can be time consuming, but the pay out can’t be measured on a P&L sheet.
Would you like to transform your leadership? Let’s have a conversation to discuss how I can help. In the meantime, my book, Leveraging Your Leadership Style is a great beginning to becoming a Servant Leader.