When we think of our organizational leaders, it’s likely that we think of the individuals in executive and senior leadership roles, the directors of our business sectors, and the managers of our teams. More simply, many of us think of the people we perceive as being "in charge" – the decision makers, task delegators, and performance appraisers who operate with superior importance. But, as Simon Sinek, TED Speaker and author of "Start With Why" and "Leaders Eat Last” stated in the above quote, that perception of leadership must be reframed.
The truth is that organizational leadership is at its most effective when it is a servant and focuses less on taking charge of our teams and more on taking care of them. In other words, leaders who prioritize their team’s development, success, and fulfillment above their own will see greater improvements to motivation and performance.
Developing a culture of servant leadership does not mean that the current roles and responsibilities of our leaders are relinquished. Rather, it means that leaders will take a step back from controlling the performance of their teams and empower them to grab every opportunity to stretch their professional legs. Giving teams the opportunity to develop skills through mentorship of their leaders, and encouraging innovative thinking and creative problem-solving is essential in building an agile workforce. When team members feel secure to approach inconsistencies and obstacles in their daily work using a blend of their own capabilities and their leader’s guidance, their response to broader organizational change and their trust in leadership to shepherd them safely through it is improved.
The key principles of Servant Leadership and Tips to Becoming a Servant Leader are essential to creating agile teams. To learn more about both, download our Servant Leader Job Aid.
Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in Neptune, NJ and in Washington, D.C. The Firm’s Private Sector Practice specializes in customized learning design and delivery for the Deathcare, Financial Services, Life Sciences, and Media & Communications industries, and partners with our peers to do the same for government clientele. For more information about our services, visit us at http://www.mahernet.com or call us at 1-888-90-MAHER.