What is servant leadership? We hear about it, we know it's important, but what is it really?
A servant leader is a leader whose main focus is to serve the business they are heading/running which differs from the traditional philosophy that the leader's main objective is ensuring the company is thriving/profitable. The premise behind this is simple: satisfied employees are happy employees and happy employees give more (time, effort, ideas) to the organization that cares for them.
Henry Ford said, "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
The focus on "Acts of Service" as the second language of appreciation in the book, The Five Languages of Appreciation by Gary Chapman and Paul White is grounded in the simple concept of using small gestures to show that you value someone.
How does this play out in the workplace? It could be as simple as bringing a colleague a cup of coffee and can be as large as offering to jump in on a large project to help. The main concept is to pay attention to those around you and see where you can jump in and offer support.
The main goal is to let your team know they are valued and appreciated, and as a leader, serving your team is one of the best ways to show them you care.
To take an even larger picture of this philosophy, I want to invite you to read another one of my favorite books, The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. The concept of whether you are leading an "infinite" or "finite" business is grounded in the idea that you lead based on your "why" or your "just cause" as he refers to in the book. Individuals that lead in this manner put the "cause" first and this ensures that they are driving the organization to success through a focus on things other than just the bottom line.
For some ideas on showing "acts of service" check out this article, Spotlight on Acts of Service, by Paul White.
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