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Servant Leader Philosophies - In our leadership workshops, I'll ask participants who most important person is to a company. The answer, of course, is customer. The question that follows next is, "Who is most important person in company to that customer?" Most people get that person most important to customer is one they come in contact with - "frontline". The question that follows is real key to a better understanding of servant leadership. This question is, "What, then, is job of manager of those frontline people?" The job of managers of frontline folks is to make their job as easy and as effective as possible so that customer has best experience possible! If this leadership philosophy is adopted throughout an organization, it ends up with an organizational chart that looks like an inverted pyramid. It is an organization that acknowledges importance of frontline and reflects philosophy of service throughout.
* EFFECTIVE PURPOSE, MISSION AND VALUES
An organization which inspires best effort in its people will attract kind of employees it wants and needs, and will retain them. It has a Purpose, a Mission, and a set of Values that it lives by, it effectively communicates them, and it measures its actions and decisions against them.
- Purpose is "WHY" of equation. It defines why we do what we do. Each decision and policy should take company closer to achieving its "WHY". When a company has a clearly defined purpose it begins to act as a magnet, attracting kind of people who will further purpose; people who are like-minded. Not only will having a purpose attract right people, but it will also act to retain them.
- Mission is "WHAT" of equation. It defines what company will be doing to achieve its Purpose. A mission can be fairly narrow or be somewhat broad. However, one that is too narrow can unduly restrict an organization from considering opportunities that would otherwise be an excellent fit and one that is too broad offers no guidance at all.
- Values are "HOW" of equation. Values define how Mission will be carried out in an effort to achieve Purpose. They define “rules of game”. Some of them will come to mind quite easily, things like honesty, courtesy, kindness, and ethics. But some other important values will only surface when brainstorming takes place - when different perspectives and voices are heard.
* EFFECTIVE PEOPLE SKILLS
I’ll often ask clients or workshop attendees for traits of best boss they ever had and traits of worst boss. Inevitably, I’ll get answers like: (Best) respected my ideas, worked to develop me, challenged me, listened, empowered me and let me make my own mistakes,… and (Worst) micro-managed, was overly demanding, poor communicator, mistrustful, … What’s interesting is that in no case were technical skills or intelligence of a boss either praised or condemned. All notable traits, both good and bad, had to do with people skills. The goal of effective people skills is good Relationship Management. Relationship Management encompasses ability to develop others, inspire others, influence others, resolve conflict, and build teamwork and collaboration.
The essence of exceptional leadership is ability to inspire best effort in others. When people choose to give their best effort, satisfaction increases, pride develops, innovation is born, productivity improves, stability prevails, and profitability increases. The keys to a highly performing organization are creating an inspiring environment and personally becoming an exceptional leader. We can create an inspiring environment by adopting effective leadership philosophies and clarifying a Purpose, Mission and set of Values. We can personally become a more effective leader by honing and acquiring effective people skills. Become a leader who inspires best effort in others.
Michael Beck is President of Exceptional Leadership, Inc., a leadership development and executive coaching firm dedicated to creating exceptional leadership for higher profits and greater job satisfaction. Michael can be reached at 877-977-8956 or mbeck@XLeaders.com, and you can learn more about the company and these ideas at www.XLeaders.com.