I know, we’ve all heard it.
Often, it does not matter if you are a professional in safety, HR, talent management, organizational effectiveness, executive leadership, consulting, the media, the speaking industry, recruiting, or an entrepreneur: leadership is leadership is leadership.
As a matter of fact, the last time I did an internet search on the word “leadership”, I got 130 million+ hits. Everyone seems to be talking about it. There are as many types of leadership styles as there are colors in a super deluxe, quadruple deep box of newly minted crayons.
The question is: which color or combinations of colors are most effective at bringing out the brilliance within your organizational canvas?
For that answer, I went to fellow leadership expert, Sonia M. Farace, MSEL (@soniafarace). Her choice: Servant Leadership.
Sonia explains why you should care about Servant Leadership like this:
“Servant Leadership is not a new concept and it has been studied in depth for the past thirty years, many claim to be practitioners of such philosophy yet very few have been effective on implement it and making it the cornerstone of their organizational culture and values.
Quoting Ken Blanchard and reflecting on his views about Servant Leadership from his book “Leading at a higher level”:
‘When people hear the phrase servant leadership they either conjure thoughts of inmates running the prison or think servant leadership is only for church leaders. And it is important to correct this misconception. Leadership is an influence process in which you try to help people accomplish goals and it has two aspects: a visionary part and an implementation part.’
The visionary part is the strategic leadership; it is the “what” that ensures everyone is going in the same direction. It is where the answer to the question “What’s the point of your business?” is found. Strategic Leadership is all about the vision and direction, and this is the leadership aspect of servant leadership.
The Implementation part is the operational leadership; it provides the “how” for the organization.
It includes the policies, procedures, systems and leaders behavior that cascade from senior managers to the frontline employees. Operational Leadership is all about the implementation aspect of leadership, this is where the servant aspect of servant leadership comes into play.
Strategic Leadership and Operational Leadership go hand on hand; one cannot succeed without the other and together impact performance the most.
While strategic leadership is a critical building block for setting the tone and direction, it has only an indirect impact on organizational vitality. The real key to organizational vitality is operational leadership – the servant aspect of Servant Leadership – and when it is done effectively, employee work passion and customer devotion will result from the positive experiences and overall satisfaction people have with the organization.
Therefore when the “what” (the leadership aspect of servant leadership) gets things started in the right direction and the “how” (the servant aspect of servant leadership) excites employees and customers, organizational success is almost guaranteed.
Many claim it, but very few Leaders and organizations truly understand the meaning of Servant Leadership.
Those individuals that really get it, are precisely the Leaders and the companies they lead, who are succeeding regardless of the competition and economic turmoil of our present times.
Everybody wants to be successful, experience fulfillment in the work they do and in their lives. But without the engagement and creativity of their people, organizations cannot succeed (Behar & Goldstein, 2007 p. 49) and there is a path to achieve such fulfillment, success and impact performance, this path is called Servant Leadership.”
So there you have it. If you are not currently bestowing this color upon your organizational canvas, drop the crayon you have gripping your hand and pick up the one marked: “Servant Leadership Spice”. Your newly created masterpiece just may be what your organization is waiting for to reach the next level of operational excellence.
Dare to think differently.
Read more posts by J.A. Rodriguez Jr. here. J.A. Rodriguez Jr. is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.
Howard Behar & Janet Goldstein, (2007) “It’s Not About The Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks”, pp 51-52
Ken Blanchard, (2011), “Leading at a Higher Level”, pp 261-287
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