Servant Leadership is one of those ambiguous terms that sounds like your business growth or profitability will be sacrificed for the sake of helping others. But it is actually something far different.
At ALL Strategy, our priority is Redefining Leadership Impact. As we work with small and medium sized business leaders of service-based industries, we strive to integrate day to day solutions to their strategic objectives. This always starts with leadership, and when we teach leadership principles, they stem from those in the servant leadership approach.
Being a servant leader, from my perspective, as Founder of ALL Strategy, is creating and reinforcing a culture of healthy, empowered individuals to give more and be more through what they do and how they do it in their jobs. Generosity is a cornerstone of servant leadership – the giving of resources as a tool to lead and influence and ensure those around you are stretched and expanded. In for-profit businesses, we want our teams to impact the net profitability for the positive, but what a servant leader also wants is for those individuals to flourish and be optimized…even when that means celebrating with them and releasing them to a new opportunity they are ready to pursue.
Day-to-day that means as a leader, knowing your team and knowing a bit about their lives, their desires, aspirations and motivations, so you can effectively serve, fuel and reward them in ways that are meaningful to them. It also means being a giver of resources: generosity with your time for them, training and development, freedom to fail, freedom to share new perspectives, pursuing philanthropic opportunities, and so many other ways to be generous. Yet another way to be a servant leader is to join the team: don’t just tell them what needs to be done, but rather partner with them at various stages to model engagement and servant hood – even if it not the highest and best use of your time for that moment by traditional measures.
I have many other thoughts around this I would be glad to share. As a recognized voice in business strategy and relational leadership, it would be a privilege to lead a management training workshop for your senior team, or communicate at your event as a keynote speaker around these principles of servant leadership and how to practically apply them for greater results and higher level impact.