The idea of servant leadership is nothing new in the business world and has been around even longer in the non-profit sector. In fact the spirituality movement is built upon the concept of servant leadership. Recently I bumped into a fabulous exploration of this concept by Leigh Buchanan an editor at large for Inc. Magazine. Her article explains the concepts and shares the stories of a few high profile servant leaders. My intent is to facilitate your own exploration of servant leadership and its implications for your business.
I was first introduced to the concept of leading from behind by an amazing Spiritual Leader Rev. Edward Viljoen currently with the Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living. He presented a talk that I heard on audio cassette. Yes I am that old. And the talk truly inspired me to look at how one could lead from behind the crowd. This was his way of exploring the servant leadership concept. Next time I bump into that old tape I’ll be sure to digitize it and share with you the deeper meanings behind his talk.
Here are the principles of servant leadership as defined by the Alliance for Servant Leadership are:
- Transformation as a vehicle for personal and institutional growth.
- Personal growth as a route to better serve others.
- Enabling environments that empower and encourage service.
- Service as a fundamental goal.
- Trusting relationships as a basic platform for collaboration and service.
- Creating commitment as a way to collaborative activity.
- Community building as a way to create environments in which people can trust each other and work together.
- Nurturing the spirit as a way to provide joy and fulfillment in meaningful work.
“Servant leadership is the essence of quantum thinking and quantum leadership.”
~Danah Zohar, author, Rewiring the Corporate Brain.
Now that we have an idea of the guiding principles of Servant Leadership let’s consider how your organization and thus all of humanity might benefit from bringing these principles into the culture of your organization. Imagine what your organization might look like if every one of your employees felt empowered enough to truly do the best they could in every moment because they knew you always had their backs.
What would happen if you asked an employee what they needed and you listened and actually supplied them with their desires? Now this is not to say you provide every whim someone might ask for. The shipping department probably does not need their own hot tub, and the receptionist may not need a fully paid all inclusive Caribbean vacation. However if they asked you to drive a forklift or answer the phones for an hour would you be willing to serve your employees in such a way?
All great leaders know that they cannot make every decision necessary for the operation of a great company. Truly great leaders however do know they can make sure the right decisions do get made by the people most qualified to make those decisions. Great leaders are always looking for ways to build a culture of community and inclusivity within their organization. Eventually a state of Trust and personal accountability evolve because everyone knows the organization is about service more than just the bottom line. What would happen if everyone was committed to nurturing a sense of joy and fulfillment in the workplace?
At The Inspired Business Center we are looking for ways we can better serve you and what you are already doing as a servant to your organization. The idea is to ensure you do not become a slave to your work. We choose to serve you by looking at the various aspects of your business and how you might implement a culture of servant leadership while maintaining ownership of the company. We know that a more empowered workforce leads to more profitability and a better environment for everyone involved.
During the coming months we invite you to join in this conversation as we expand upon the principles and concepts of servant based leadership. We would love to hear of your experiences and questions as we take this journey of exploring servant based leadership. We are confident you can end this year on a high note and begin 2012 primer and ready for the most prosperous year ever. If you would like to learn more about what we do and how we can serve you simply contact us and we’ll be happy to schedule a complimentary one-on-one leadership exploration session. This no obligation consultation will provide you and us an opportunity to determine how we can best serve the expansion and profitability of your organization. Simply give us a call or send an e-mail and we’ll schedule your complimentary consultation right away.
Until Next Time,
Robert Brzezinski is an expert team member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems. You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com