- January 20, 2017
- Posted by: Dylan Wodrich
- Category: CSIA, CSIA Blog, Innovation
Often times, the word “leader” brings to mind thoughts of power, dominance, and control. Most people consider leaders to be the top of the food chain. They think that effective leaders are cold, savage, relentless, and will do whatever it takes to maximize profits (even if it means firing you).
What if I said that the best leaders are also servants?
Can you imagine the CEO of the company that you work for, stepping out of their gold-trimmed office, walking towards you in their clothes woven from the finest fabrics found only in a secluded Peruvian mountaintop village? Sounds intimidating. You gulp as you await the verbal assault… This time, however, they aren’t going to yell at you for your disappointing sales in the past month; instead, they pull the papers you just printed out of the printer, and set them on their desk for you.
Enter the concept of “Servant Leadership”.
Sounds kind of like an oxymoron, right? How can a leader be a servant? Shouldn’t the servant be serving the leader? That is the common thought process, and that’s where so many people have gone wrong.
Essentially, a servant leader can be thought of as a best friend. They are dependable. Honest. Helpful. Humble. They don’t view themselves as superior to everyone else in the office. Instead, they view themselves on the same level as even their newest employee or intern. If someone were to ask them for some help making some copies, they’d jump right in and make copies.
Now, this isn’t to say people don’t respect them. They still maintain their status as a leader. It’s simply the way they lead that changes. They no longer bark out orders and commands, but instead, they work with their employees to gather opinions and make the best decision for the company, NOT themselves.
This can provide numerous benefits for both the company and the employees. The employees can feel “safe” around their manager or boss. This can result in the employees not being afraid to speak their mind and give their honest, constructive opinions. In the typical, tyrannical leader setup, most employees wouldn’t dare open their mouth to their manager or boss, no matter how great of an idea they may have. Now that the employees feel safe around their managers and bosses, they can share their thoughts and ideas without fear (and who knows what kind of incredible ideas they have lurking in the depths of their minds?)
A true leader realizes that in order to succeed, everyone needs to work together. Effective leaders create a middle ground where every employee, regardless of pay, position, or title, can effectively communicate, express opinions, and help one another, no matter mundane or “entry level” the task may be.
If you’re still stuck in the mindset that effective leaders should be cold, ruthless predators, think again. Servant Leadership is no longer an oxymoron, it is the future of successful business.
Written and Edited By: Dylan Wodrich – Social Media Manager of the Customer Service Institute of America
References/For Further Reading: