We all know or have lived the in the typical power structure of an organization. It is all about what you can do for the boss in the current quarter. That is, serving the boss and, in turn, the company.
If you haven’t heard the term “servant leadership,” or, better yet, worked and lived in a servant leadership environment, we want to take a few minutes and expose you to this concept. With roots in both Eastern and Western cultures as far back as the 5th century BC. In more modern times, Robert Greenleaf is credited with furthering the concept with a 1971 essay, “The Servant as Leader.”
One of the most visible 21st century companies to build their culture around the concept is Southwest Airlines. Founder Herb Kelleher put employees first and it paid off for the airline in a highly engaged workforce with low turnover and high profitability.
“Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.”– Herb Kelleher
The “secret” is in putting the workforce first. That is, a leader serves his workers and they, in turn, serve the best interests of the company and the customers. By guiding instead of lording over employees, servant leaders gain an edge in performance.
It’s an active model of employee development rather than relying on the basic transactional model of employee-company.
Where do you begin to develop and build a culture of servant leadership? Start by looking within and taking stock of what you already have. And then consider enlisting the aid of a partner. We are here to help with skills assessments, systems and programs as well as one-on-one advice.
Call or contact us for more information on servant leadership.
The New Paradigm Advisors Team