“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” – Max de Pree
Over the years there has been a lot of talk and misconceptions about servant leadership. Here’s my take…
- Leaders who serve do not vacate their positions of power or authority they validate it. Servant leaders have those positions not because they are power-hungry, manipulative, or selfish, but because they are not. Make no mistake, servant leaders have power and authority, but they’ve learned the secret of how and when to exercise it.
- Leaders who serve are invested in the success of their team. They will empower their people with every tool possible in order to ensure their success. Servant leaders understand that when they help others become successful they are successful.
- Leaders who serve are relational. Servant leaders are intentional about building relationships in order to gain the trust and confidence of his or her people. When you take the time to be among your people and get to know them, they will see up close what type of person and leader you are. At the end of the day, your people want a leader they can relate to not one they fear.
A few final takeaways…
- Don’t throw your weight around – it’s unbecoming of a leader. Serve them.
- Be invested in your people and they will not disappoint you.
- Know your people and be vulnerable. People like it when you are real.