How do you know someone is a leader? Because people follow them. How do you know someone is a GOOD leader? Because people want to follow them.
Leadership has many faces. Some schools of thought believe in fear, others count of obligation/duty. However, lasting leadership values and nurtures individuals as important parts of a cohesive team. Good leaders achieve this by serving others; servant leadership.
Servant leadership embraces the truth that organization exists for the person as much as the person exists for the organization. In other words, the leader’s ego is checked at the door and the greater good is always the end game.
Employees are the Greatest Asset
Servant leadership was formally developed around fifty years ago by Robert K. Greenleaf. He began work AT&T in the 1920’s. During his 38-year career with the communications giant, he traveled to the 200 “Ma Bells” and other organizations associated with AT&T as a troubleshooter. During that time, he noted that the successful organizations had leaders who acted more as coaches, supporting their employees instead of dictating to them.
After his time in corporate America, Robert K. Greenleaf developed his assessment of successful leaders and coined the term “Servant Leader”. He described true servant leaders as someone who was good at:
- Accessing intuition and foresight
- Use of language
- Providing practical measurements of results
“Don’t assume, because you are intelligent, able, and well-motivated, that you are open to communication, that you know how to listen.” – Robert K. Greenleaf
Good leadership starts and ends with good listening skills. If the leader’s mindset is to serve others, then listening is essential. To be a good leader you must truly listen to your employees. As a result, servant leadership creates some of the best companies to work for throughout the world.
Best Places to Work
At the time Robert K. Greenleaf published his book The Servant Leader in 1970, was a new way of looking at leadership in corporate America. Today it’s an essential way to build a positive company culture and foster employee/customer loyalty.
Google, Zappos, Wholefoods, Nordstrom are successful organizations with loyal employees and customers. Why? Because these organizations strive to serve. Organizations with a servant leadership:
- Carefully choose and hire the right employees
- Lead by example
- Nurture relationships
- Want to be respected for how they treat their employees/customers
- Value creativity
- Care about the opinions/feedback of others
When leaders set aside their egos, listen and strive to nurture not only the professional, but personal advancement of their employees, long-term success results. When this style of leadership is adopted, great things happen to the bottom line and every individual associated with the servant run organization.
Servant leadership creates good leaders people WANT to follow.
Larry Lipman Helps Nurture Organizations
Larry of Fun Team Building can help large groups, small groups, inside and outside with corporate group activities including stimulating exercises and innovative ways for people to connect better than ever before! Call Larry Lipman (770-333-3303) and plan a team building session that will help everyone not only get on the same page, but have fun doing it, too!