As we have been exploring the concepts, principles, and characteristics of Servant Leadership some rather obvious parallels have emerged. During the remainder of this year and into January of 2012 we will explore how these characteristics and principles align. If you are just now joining the conversation you may find it beneficial to take a quick read of our opening exploration of the topic Are you a Servant or a Slave to Your Business as well as the follow up Servant Leadership: An Evolving Paradigm of Authentic Leadership and Listening, Empathy and Conceptualization: Characteristics of Servant Leadership
This week we’ll be looking at how being committed to the personal growth of other people is actually a route to better serve your clients and customers. I think we can all agree that happy employees make better workers. When someone is feeling satisfied with their work they do a better job. It’s quite easy to see how the better your employees do their job the better products and services they create.
While the theory is quite easy to understand, putting that theory into practice can be a bit more of a challenge. Not long ago I was at the San Jose airport. While waiting for a flight with my family, my son asked if we could go for a walk. As we wandered around the terminal building I came across a rather normal looking door. There were no big signs leading me to this door; however the letters on the door indicated it was a Meditation Room. I informed my son that we had to be quiet as we stepped inside the door. It was amazing to discover this little meditation sanctuary in such a busy public space. I didn’t notice any other people in the room at the time, and I remember thinking how wonderful it was that the airport provided such a place for travelers. It was then that I noticed one of the workers from the fast food stands that fill the terminal. The young man was dressed in his uniform and sat quietly in the corner. Not wanting to disturb him, my son and I quietly slipped out of the room.
I share this story because I completely believe this man was able to provide incredible service to his employer’s customers after taking time to get centered by using the practice of meditation. Now I don’t eat fast food very often but I can say I never thought that the guy or gal behind the counter might have just invested their break time in meditation. Imagine what could happen within your company if even a small portion of your workforce invested some of their personal time in personal growth each day. What if the employee break room had access to inspirational magazines and reading material rather than the traditional sports and gossip magazines? What if you allowed your employees to use their computers to read a spiritual blog or view meditative video during their day?
According to the Alliance for Servant Leadership, “The servant-leader acknowledges that the organization’s capacity to provide for the liberation of human potential is the cornerstone for success. A commitment to holistic growth and development of every person means that the servant-leader ensures that the organization has structures, programs, and activities where everyone can grow. He or she accepts the need to create awareness, even when it disturbs more than it comforts.” This implies so much more than an on-site workout facility or an occasional company sponsored health fair.
A true servant leader is creative in ways that serve the evolution of the whole person. Yes, health fairs and work out facilities are portions of an overall strategy, and meditations spaces, allowing employees to volunteer in local charities with pay, and various other ways of supporting their personal growth are also important. Perhaps your organization provides ½ day Friday retreats or even late Monday start times. Have you ever considered offering a free yoga class during the lunch hour or a Tai Chi class before work? How about a company walk around the building during the afternoon? The key is not in offering one or two things but offering enough things that everyone becomes involved. A great plan does nothing if 1% of the company participates. We must strive to support 100% of the employees, manager, supervisors, directors and leaders in their personal growth.
The end result is spectacular. Imagine if you will for just a moment your entire company filled with self-actualized people. An organization where everyone is not only happy to come to work, but actually looking forward to making a contribution to the company because they know the company is making a contribution to the world, or at the very least their perfect clients and customers.
Building an Inspired Business is not an easy task and yet it needn’t be terribly difficult either. The key is finding ways to innovate, finding ways to think outside the morns, asking ourselves the vital questions and having someone that can guide us through the maze of perspectives, offerings and ideas that abound in today’s business climate. At The Inspired Business Center we believe every executive, every owner, every entrepreneur can benefit from having a coach on the sidelines cheering them on, and more importantly reminding them to watch their blindside. A coach can see a bigger picture, one that encompasses the entire field, not just the current targets and goals.
As part of our contribution to the personal development of our clients we offer a complimentary coaching session to anyone that feels they would like to explore how to become an Inspired Business. Simply call the office and we’ll schedule a complimentary session that will look at how you can position yourself and your company for greater success in the coming year. Give us a call today and learn how you can use your own personal growth to grow your company as we close out 2011 and get ready to grow ourselves in twenty-twelve.
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