We all know the Wizard of Oz doesn’t exist—shhh, don’t tell the little ones!—but it’s fun to think he might. Especially when we imagine the adventures we would have on the journey along the Yellow Brick Road.
Laughter loosens up creativity. It bonds us with the people around us. It can quickly dispel conflict. It is also a potent ingredient in service leadership. How better to serve others than to make them laugh?
In the book, “The Road to Character,” New York Times columnist David Brooks performs an exploration into personal characteristics that lead to a meaningful life, as well as examples of historical personalities who have worked through character challenges marked by deep humility, pointing to some helpful themes that can be applied to service leadership.
Imagine for a moment the positive effects of considering others’ needs as a standard of business. You are still conducting business, yet in this new paradigm, gaining a competitive edge is based on inspiring employees to do their best work and operating as an ethical business.
Starting with the most limited view of leadership, the Great Man Theory (being male-centric and genetically based) and working our way down the list, we can see that with each new theory, more consideration is given to behaviors, circumstances and relationships.
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…
“Patience is a virtue. And some people are naturally more patient. But we can all work to become more patient,” Johnson says. “Humility is the same way. If we focus on appreciating the strengths of others, focus on being teachable, having an accurate view of ourselves, we can actually become more humble people.”
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