When we are given the opportunity to lead a team, we have the choice to approach leadership with the intent to serve or the intent to have others serve you. I can tell you definitively, you will get results through your team much more effectively if you choose the first.
A Leader with a servant’s heart understands that if you put your people first and you do everything in your power to build them up, to help them grow and develop, to create an environment that they want to be a part of, and mostly; you truly care about them … everything else will fall into place (given that you have provided a solid strategy and vision that your team can effectively contribute to and align with).
But a Servant’s Heart cannot be faked. It all starts with you.
Here’s my 5 simple & tangible steps that you can implement immediately, and start seeing the impact they have on your team, your organization, and your results.
5 ELEMENTS TO ESTABLISH A SERVANT-LEADERSHIP CULTURE
- It all starts with YOUR intention. Ask yourself every day “what can I do for my team, so that they can be the most effective, efficient, engaged, and satisfied as possible”. Then look for situations that can answer that question.
- Become a Master Listener
- You must create a safe environment in which your employees trust that they can speak up without repercussion. Be very careful how you respond when you are receiving feedback (on you, processes, procedures, etc.). The second your team feels that you didn’t hear them, shot them down, gave them excuses, or got defensive; they’ll stop communicating.
- Get really good at asking great questions
- Examples: What is one thing that would make your job easier? What is something that bugs you every day?
- Validate. It’s not enough to listen, you must validate that you actually heard what they were saying, and why it was important enough for them to tell you about it.
- Invest in Your Team
- For your team to be invested in the company vision and strategy, you must invest in them. A person who feels appreciated, valued, challenged, and inspired will always do more than what is expected.
- Stay Curious
- Don’t ever assume. Assumptions are the enemy of an inclusive culture.
- Teach your team to do the same.
- Be Committed to Self-Leadership
- Check yourself to ensure that you are “walking the talk”. Are your actions reflective of the values and beliefs that you hold?
- Keep commitments: do what you say you’re going to do.
- Check in with yourself at the end of every day. “Who’s life did I make better today? Did I help anyone today? In what way(s) did I show that I cared today?”
In the end, you’re going to get the most optimum results in your team and your company by creating a culture of Servant Leadership. Or as Richard Branson said it, “Success in business is all about people: take care of them and they will take care of the business.”