Leading through Service

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Blog, Media | Comments Off on Leading through Service

Leading through Service
servant leadership students

Effective, strong leaders are not what they used to be.  That is in no way, shape or form meant as a complaint…it is a statement of the evolution of the leadership and the pathway to a better world.

Leadership, like pretty much everything else, has changed over time in many parts of the world.  Strong leaders used to lead firmly from the top.  There was a clear and enforced heirachy of who was in charge and whose orders were to be followed.  Leaders led by giving orders with or without divulging the details of why, and everyone “under” them followed, or were punished.  This works pretty well in the military and when the leaders are experienced and trained and the followers are inexperienced and wouldn’t know what to do without instructions.  This also is the framework in some family systems (cultures) and some forms of government where people don’t have a choice or a voice (yes, this picture was taken in China).  This autocratic, (dare I say communist?) style of leadership does not empower others to strive, create, or problem solve from their best, wisest, passionate self.  To have a new, better world, we need new better leadership that encourages creative solutions and truly meaningful devotion and commitment that is not derived merely from fear of punishment, shame, demotion, or abandonment.

Welcome to Servant Leadership!

Today’s leadership has evolved from leading to serving.  As a leader and, quite simply, as a human being, I love this change.  Today’s effective, strong leaders are courageous enough to be transparent, to be less than perfect, and to spend their time in service to their team.  This new servant leader is able to keep the long range vision and strategy in mind while trusting the team to make decisions within their responsible areas and move together with new ideas, problem solving and individual talents.  This new leader shares credit, creates an atmosphere of encouragement and leads by example in solving conflict and respecting the views and experiences of others. This is a higher functioning leader that grows more leaders.

Here are 10 important traits of a good servant leader.  I hope this helps you to find your best leader and serve your team to new levels of success:

  1. A Servant Leader cultivates a trust culture
  2. A Servant Leader values diverse opinions and skills
  3. A Servant Leader develops leadership in others
  4. A Servant Leader acknowledges and helps with life issues (not just work performance)
  5. A Servant Leader encourages others to see their own value
  6. A Servant Leader thinks of others first
  7. A Servant Leader sells ideas instead of “tells” others how to think
  8. A Servant Leader thinks long-term
  9. A Servant Leader gives credit to others (acts with humility)
  10. A Servant Leader always takes responsibility for missed goals without blame or shame pointed at others

When asked why I choose to be a leader, my answer is that “I don’t want to be in charge; I want to lead the charge.”  I want everyone to be successful together – and with quality servant leadership, the greatness of your team will get you all there!

Women Change the World by Leading By Example and Helping More Women Succeed!