The idea of servant leadership has started to gain momentum in a lot of big name corporations. There’s a shift from one person at the top pointing out what needs to be done to the idea of coaching talent so they can best bring their individual skills to bear.
If servant leadership is an effective model in businesses, how much more effective will it be in your organization?
Below you’ll find three guideposts to ensure that you’re leading your organization well.
Know the Needs
Knowing the needs of who you lead is paramount to ensuring their success. A Gallup Survey found the four needs of followers are:
Ask yourself on a weekly basis, are you providing these things to your team. If not, how can you better provide it to them in the future.
Maybe the thing your team is missing is hope. Are you clearly outlining the future for them. Are you letting them know that everything they do leads up to a bigger picture and what they are working on personally is making a difference? If you aren’t, find ways to provide hope.
Ask, Don't Tell
We often think of a leader as the one who points and directs, but a true servant leader is someone who is really good at asking questions and helping others find their motivation.
When you have a teacher come to you with a question, do you immediately go into problem-solving mode and give them the answer or do you ask the questions that will help them solve it themselves? While it’s easy to want to solve problems and move on with your day, the better thing to do is to help your followers work through it. You’re teaching them skills they need to cope with problems that come up in the future and giving them confidence that they can do this job.
Support Support Support
More often than not, your job is not to direct but to equip. A really helpful question to ask yourself is “What are the obstacles that are facing my staff today?” But to ask this question you need to have a mindset of service. Your job is no longer to force everyone to do your bidding and hold them accountable to it but to make sure you are paving the path so they can truly shine.
When your staff feels this kind of support from you, you’ll start to see a shift from a group of individuals trying to figure out what success means to a team of leaders devoted to creating positive change.
Leading like this is difficult. It requires you to set your ego to the side and be more interested in the success of others than your own personal accolades. But I promise it’s worth it. Spend the time necessary to support your people and watch the change it brings.
Servant leadership extends to how we lead volunteers. Check out our free ebook on creating an amazing team of volunteers by clicking the link below.