Today’s leaders are tasked with many roles in leading their teams. These roles include mentor, coach, babysitter, referee, advisor, police and parent. However, the two most important roles a leader can play in an organization are to:
In looking at the role of serving your team, you may ask, if this is an important role of leaders, why isn’t this role more prevalent among leaders? Well, it comes down to your leadership philosophy and focus. Serving others (team members), which is commonly known as servant leadership goes back to fifth century B.C with Lao-Tzu wrote about servant leadership in the fifth-century BC. He states’ “The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware…”
The concept is both a philosophy and set of leadership principles where the leader takes emphasis off of him/her and instead place it on his/her employees. Traditional leadership involves a top down approach where power is accumulated and exercised at top. With servant leadership, the leader’s primary focus is on the needs of his/her team members and assisting on their development for greater results.
In an organization that stresses the leadership style of serving others, the emphasis is to make others need, a priority. Robert K. Greenleaf in his essay “The Servant as a Leader,” which was first published in 1970, said, “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.
Howard Schultz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks in 2004 stated, ‘we have to lead with our hearts. In business, as in life, we each should have an internal compass that guides our decisions, an instinctive understanding of what matters most in this world. For me, it’s not profits, or sales, or numbers, but the passion, commitment, and enthusiasm of a dedicated group of people.”
In a study on ‘Servant Leadership and Serving Culture, in the Academy of Management Journal, it found when bosses put employees’ needs over their own, measurable improvements result in customer satisfaction, higher job performance by employees, and lower turnover are the result. Become a more effective leader by serving your team and developing them for greater results!!