Is it just me, or does it sometimes feel like a ghost town around here?
“Why isn’t servant leadership more prevalent [among CEOs and company heads]?” Great question. You already know my bias, so this blog post is not so much about promoting the benefits of service leadership directly—although, to be fair, it is hard for this to not come through—, but rather exploring this question.
Servant or service leadership is based on the priority of serving others as a matter of leadership. When we remove the traditional framework of “leadership” being a hierarchy of “leader” and “follower”, we can see that we are all presented with the opportunity and capability of being leaders in our own lives. To discover this truth, look into the dynamic of your closest personal relationships. Is there conflict or harmony? What is the balance of giving and taking? When your loved ones feel that you are present and they are cared for and appreciated by you, what is that experience like?
Now, let’s take this line of thinking and apply it to the traditional leadership role. If you are company CEO or head decision-maker in a position of “leadership”, what is your experience like? Is there harmony or conflict among the people you are leading? What is the balance of giving and taking in your organization? Is there a culture of abundance or scarcity?
The most telling intersection to analyze is this: How productive are your employees? And how much do your employees truly feel listened to and cared for or looked after with their best interests in mind?
Perhaps the starting point for most CEOs and company leaders interested in servant or service leadership is the promise of greater productivity. But when decision-makers truly follow the path of service leadership and approach others (everyone in the organization) with empathy and a sincere care for their needs, the results are much more than this: The culture of abundance is real, and by taking the time to create that culture as a leader, your employees, your shareholders, your partners, your clients and you all feel the benefits of this in a major way. It starts with serving others.
So I said I wasn’t going to make this post about promoting servant leadership, but here we are. It’s just too good not to. Servant or service leadership serves everyone at the highest level. What’s not to love?
As the Forbes article points out, this style of leadership is not for everyone. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Why isn’t service or servant leadership more prevalent among CEOs and company heads? You know my bias, now try to make me understand. Reply in the comments below.