Want to be a Leader? First you Must Serve
A Leader has a Servant Mindset
Imagine this: you arrive at work in the morning and your boss is there waiting for you. He happily greets you, hands you your morning latte and walks with you to the office explaining what is in store for the day. You settle into your corner office, and get started on your work as your boss plods down the hall to a cubicle.
Sounds like a great servant leader right? Not exactly. When we talk about being a servant leader, this is exactly what is not in mind. A servant leader isn’t one that caters to your every need; instead it is all about the mindset and the motive behind the leadership.
What does a servant leader look like?
A Servant Leader Builds other Leaders
When you dive into the emotions behind leadership styles, you see a couple of different things. There are those who are fearful, and those who are fearless. A fearful leader wants to keep his or her employees in the dark in fear that they will take over the leadership position.
A true leader, however, knows that delegating responsibility can only be done to those that can be trusted. Instead of creating worker drones, a servant leader will train other leaders. This creates a culture where everyone feels that he or she has ownership of the business, and the business will flourish because of it.
A Servant Leader Values Opinion
Have you sat in a meeting and finally got the courage to voice your opinion. When you did it went completely unheeded, or was met with the answer, “That’s not how we do things around here.”? That result makes you feel entirely defeated! That sort of leadership style brews hostility and creates animosity between the decision makers and the employees.
Instead, a true servant leader takes into consideration all opinions. If an employee is voicing his or her opinion, it means they are unhappy with the way things currently are. While you can’t cater to every need out there, you certainly can help everyone feel accepted.
A Servant Leader Helps with Problems
There are many bosses out there that are irritated when they have to do the day-to-day work. They feel that it isn’t their job, and think, “What am I paying you guys for anyway?” If it needs to be done, they do it, but they make sure everyone knows how irritated they are with the job.
A servant leader, on the other hand, knows that problems arise in the workplace. Even though it is not his or her job to do the “grunt” work, it gets done with a cheerful attitude because the employees need help. This cheerful helping attitude extends beyond the workplace, and employees know they can turn to their servant leader for problems and advice that are not work related.
A Servant Leader Encourages
There are two ways to motivate: the stick and the carrot. A poor leader will rely heavily on the stick. When an employee is late for work, he or she is punished. When an employee makes a mistake, they are reprimanded. When an employee does a great job, the work goes unnoticed.
When a servant leader is in position, the stick doesn’t disappear. But the carrot is more heavily relied on. When an employee stays late to finish a project, praises and bonuses come his or her way. When an employee does a flawless job, they are praised. When an employee does poor work, their better qualities are highlighted and they are encouraged to take more ownership next time.
A Servant Leader Grows with Others
Some leaders feel that they have clawed their way to the top. They look down on their employees with a smug satisfaction of, “At least I’m better than them.” They have made it and think everyone else needs to grow and try to catch up.
A servant leader, on the other hand, knows that personal and professional growth never stop. Instead of feeling lofty and looking down on the others, he or she creates training courses so the entire team can grow together.
Are you a Leader, or a Servant Leader?
There are many different styles of leading. But some work better than others. Are you helping your team grow by being a servant leader, or are you barking out orders to employees that are developing resentment toward you? Is it time to change your leadership style?
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we train leaders. The way we do that means that they are great at auto body repair, and every car is detailed to perfection.