Posts Tagged ‘servant’

Can Persuasion and Collaboration Co-Exist in the Business World?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

As we have been exploring the concepts, principles, and characteristics of Servant Leadership some rather obvious parallels have emerged. As we begin 2012 we will continue to 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 and Personal Development: Servant Leadership Part 4. Today, in the fifth segment of our discussion we take a deeper look at how foresight and persuasion play a part in the principle of Trusting Relationships as a basic platform for collaboration and service.

I believe we can all see how foresight serves in creating trusting relationships. As business owners are we not always looking ahead and trying to figure out which organizations will create the most strategic partnerships for our company? Are we not always on the lookout to build collaborative relationships that provide a service we can benefit from? So how does the art of persuasion fit into all this? Normally persuasion is viewed as convincing someone to see things our way. Persuasion is often viewed as an aggressive form of moving someone away from their best interests and into a position that benefits us more than their company or best interests. More often than not persuasion is used much like propaganda; as a blunt object used to slap the intended audience into submission until they have no choice but to agree with the party wielding the club.

We believe persuasion is something all together different. In order for our relationships to be based upon trust and foresight it would be necessary for each party to have some of their values in common. Identifying shared values makes the process of collaboration easy and graceful. Persuasion, therefore, is not about pushing you to see things my way but determining how we are each aligned with the other’s values.

Servant Leadership is then about building Trusting Relationships through the use of “Collaborative Persuasion” We must be open to seeing how our values are aligned with our clients, customers, potential partners. We must also look at how their values are aligned with ours. Yes we are allowed to make our points and share our perspectives, and we must also listen deeply for their values and guiding principles. Once we are open to be persuaded to their point of view we can invite them to experience our point of view as well.

Building Trusting Relationships is about much more that just using our foresight and skills of persuasion. There are so many other ways to nurture these collaborative relationships. The use of Collaborative Persuasion is only one of many skills we must bring to the process of building relationships. At the Inspired Business Center we fully believe in “Living from what is real and true to you, as well as aligning others to your values.” As we are able to bring this concept to bear on our business relationships we are bringing a true aspect of spirituality into the equation. We thus have begun to bring balance into our relationships.

 

We believe in bringing all four aspects of our lives, Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Financial into harmony so that we may live a balanced life and experience prosperity in all aspects of our business. Building Trusting Relationships is one of the various aspects of becoming a true Servant Leader.

 

Now is the time to learn more about how to become an authentic Servant Leader and bring balance to the primary aspects of life. In order to experience a more balanced work life, give us a call and schedule a confidential no-cost consultation. We are here to begin building a mutually Trusting Relationship with you by providing an honest, down to earth, no obligation overview of how you can use our unique model of business coaching to expand your bottom line and elevate your skills as a Servant Leader and Authentic model of business consciousness.

 

So…Can persuasion and collaboration co-exist in the business world? We believe they can and are confident you can be coached towards a balanced life and a thriving business. You can apply Universal Spiritual Principles to solve today’s business challenges in building Trusting Relationships through persuasion and collaboration. Call today and schedule your complimentary session to determine if you are truly ready to take the next evolutionary step in the creation of a business that fulfills your dreams and desires. Remember, it’s confidential and complimentary so you have nothing to lose and so much to gain as you begin to utilize these Proven Universal Principles.

 

Until next time,

Robert

 

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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

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jayfresh/3471106034/

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Personal Development: Servant Leadership Part 4

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

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

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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

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Listening, Empathy, Conceptualization: Characteristics of Servant Leadership

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

As we have been exploring the concept, 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.

This week we begin with looking at how the characteristics of Listening, Empathy and Conceptualization fulfill the principle of Transformation. You may remember Transformation in this context is a vehicle for personal and institutional growth. At The Inspired Business Center we believe that Authentic Servant Leaders use Listening, Empathy and Conceptualization to help both their people and their organization as they develop new, improved and innovative forms of meeting the needs of all their stakeholders.

As authentic leaders we know that listening can sometimes not be as easy as it sounds. Authentic listening requires us to truly step away from our own notions of what the speaker is trying to convey. I know I have been guilty of forming my response to someone while they were still speaking. I wasn’t listening as much as I was absorbing some of what they said in order to refute their point. Authentic listening requires us to suspend any consideration of a response and allow the deeper meaning behind someone’s words to inform our consciousness. We are being asked to listen for content as well as context. We are being asked to allow the speaker to completely express themselves. Now this does not mean we allow them to ramble on repeating their point or perspective over and over. If we truly believe we understand what they are trying to communicate we can seek clarity and understanding without cutting them short. If we have fully understood their point they will let us know and we can then ask a question or two to gather more information or move to the second characteristic of supporting this transformative experience.

Yes the second step is to use empathy during our response to their communication. This not only conveys that we have been truly listening without trying to make them wrong or simply presenting our perspective but supports and serves the individual in recognizing that we do truly honor their perspective and experiences. Empathy says I have been where you are and I am willing to share what I know about the situation without demanding that what I share is the only way to accomplish the desired results. The very fact that others look to us as leaders implies they expect us to have some direct knowledge or experience of the situation at hand. Empathy says “I have been where you are now.” When we lead from a place of empathy we let our employees to see how we are allowing them to make their own decisions and not just demanding they do what we may have done earlier in our careers. This process allows the employee to experience a greater sense of respect and thus willingness to listen to our perspectives as leaders.

Now we can move to the conceptualization phase. By listen empathizing with a person’s situation, experience and perspective, we can begin to build a new way of dealing with any given situation. We may just be building a new cultural paradigm within the organization. All too often as leaders we are under constant pressure from our stakeholders, or even ourselves to find just the right niche, just the right market, just the right widget or product that will propel the company forward. Naturally, it is assumed that we know the most about the organization or what has worked in the past, as we do have a wealth of past experience, otherwise we wouldn’t have ended up in a leadership position.

This is where servant based leadership becomes incredibly important. You can serve and foster a culture of transformation for the individual and the organization by using the characteristics of listening, empathy and conceptualization. You can allow transformation to become the vehicle by which the organization enters a new paradigm of Servant Leadership. When someone comes to you as a leader with a great idea, a pressing concern or even a sense of failure you can listen deeply, allow yourself to gain a new perspective of the situation, share from the place of empathy and begin to conceptualize a new perspective, new way of handling the situation. You don’t have to tell the employee what to do, how you would do it, or even what worked in the past. You have allowed the process to work on your behalf and together discovered a better way of approaching the situation. How incredibly powerful is that?

Obviously, there is so much more to becoming a Servant Leader or fostering a cultural shift in your organization and we are not suggesting you run out and try to drive this change tomorrow. At The Inspired Business Center we strive to look at all the aspects of an organization and implement the most beneficial ideas slowly, with great care and consideration. What we are asking is that you consider the positive +implications on your life and the life of your organization by allowing the wisdom and intelligence inherent within every employee to be shared throughout the organization. Servant Leadership does just that. It taps into the brain trust you have developed and instills a culture of service to a greater good. That greater good is the profitability and proliferation of your company.

During the coming months we will continue to explore how you can slowly, with great care implement the principles and characteristics of Servant Leadership. If you would like to learn more about this powerful topic just keep reading this blog, or give us a call and we will be happy to discuss the topic with you at greater length. As always, we are here to serve your business and help to create a business culture that works for everyone.

Until next time,

Robert

 

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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

 

 

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ky_olsen/3133347219/

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Are you a Servant or a Slave to your Business?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

The Old Paradigm

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.

The New paradigm

The New Paradigm

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

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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

 

 

Photo Credits:

The Old Paradigm http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2137729430/in/faves-53047939@N06/

The New Paradigm http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2280340261/in/faves-53047939@N06/

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