Throughout my tenure coaching a variety of clients across the country, I’m often asked the power of servant leadership. Many managers want to know the quickest and easiest way to make their team members effective and successful within their organization.
Here’s the hard truth: there is no “easy” button to achieving results when it comes to servant leadership.There are leadership skills that needed to be developed in order to successfully execute the servant leadership approach (an approach coined by Robert K. Greenleaf).
You must intentionally invest in your people to achieve great results.
Read the sentence again.
Instead of trying to find the secret to leadership – or hit the easy button – an effective leader must must embrace an emerging approach to engage, equip, encourage, and empower their employees to achieve the greatest results. What follows is simple but effective methods and techniques to develop your employees into great teammates, and even better leaders.
To engage is to become involved. A true leader will make a commitment to engage their employees and seek to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of them. Jim Collins once said, “Get the right people on the bus and then get them on the right seat on the bus.” Those in a leadership position must engage their people, study them, and get to know what makes them tick and, ultimately, thrive.
Once servant leaders engage and begin to understand their employees, they determine how to equip them. Equipping is about ensuring each direct report is individually developed based on their specific goals. The servant leadership style understands and meets the needs of each individual based on their personality, desires, and dreams.
The development road will not always be easy. This is when the servant leader must find ways to encourage their employees. Encourage them when they win. Encourage them when they’re down. Encourage them to be who they were created to be.
My friend and mentor, Bob Livesay, once told me, “The me you see is the me I’ll be.” As a servant leader, you must look for and see what your employees cannot see in themselves. Envision the potential of your employees and set their souls on fire to be more than they ever thought they could be.
The final aspect of servant leadership is to empower your employees. A word of caution, though: don’t empower until you’ve equipped. There have been many times when I’ve seen organizational leaders set employees up for failure because they threw them into the preverbal fire without first equipping them to achieve success. Empowerment not only releases your direct reports to do what you’ve entrusted them to do, but it also frees you up to do the things only you can do.
NFL Hall of Fame Player and Coach Tony Dungy once said, “Engage, educate, equip, encourage, empower, energize, and elevate. Those are the methods for maximizing the potential of any individual, team, organization, or institution for ultimate success and significance. Those are the methods of a mentor leader.”
Educate Your Leaders On the Power of Servant Leadership
Do you have a plan to equip and encourage your employees? How and when will you empower them to achieve great results? Leaders are essential for any organization because you need those take-charge people who aren’t afraid to step up and guide others. But since not everyone naturally has what it takes to be a leader and step into a management role, there are programs that are designed to help enhance their skills and build muscle memory so they can have a true impact on their team and organization as a whole.
Leadership development programs like ours help individuals grow into the business leaders of tomorrow, ultimately building a stronger workforce over time.
Are you ready to invest in leadership development services that will cultivate a strong workforce that can lead your organization to long-term success? Contact us to learn more about our leadership development programs to see if it’s right for you.