I’ve lived in MN for 27 years and I continue to marvel at the variability of our weather. Three days ago it was very hot, with no wind, a perfect lake day. Yesterday, people were in their sweatshirts as it had dropped to the low 60’s with high winds. Today, back in the upper 80’s with a light breeze out of the south. Stick around it will change again tomorrow. It certainly makes for an interesting job for weather forecasters.
Servant leaders are just the opposite of the weather in MN. They are predictable and consistent.
One way to ensure consistency for the people you are serving is to develop a “system of leadership”. This defines the cadence of your days, weeks, and months. The following was my “system of leadership” when I was running a business:
- Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Meeting—Every Monday morning at 9:00 AM
- Walk through the plant—twice daily to interact with employees
- Monthly financial review—SLT
- Quarterly all employee meetings on each shift
- Travel Schedule—Tuesday – Friday
- Travel one week per month – Customer visits
- Bi-weekly 1 on 1 meetings with my direct reports
- Monthly “Fireside Chat” with a random group of employees – (Over lunch or breakfast depending on their shift)
- Daily dashboard with metrics that make a significant difference in the organization
- Safety / Waste / Efficiency / Productivity / Shipments / Customer Feedback / Turn time / Backlog
Being predictable also means:
- Living under the authority of the organization’s Purpose, Vision, & Values
- Holding yourself and others to high standards
- Never canceling meetings or appointments at the last minute
- Never not showing up for scheduled meetings or appointments
- Promptly returning phone calls and email
- Being available when you are needed
- Spending less time doing things that don’t matter
- Finishing projects
- Seeking advice, counsel, and feedback
- Admitting mistakes and making them right
This consistency provides a model for other leaders to follow, as well as allows employees and customers to accurately predict and understand your reaction and availability.
Bottom line, servant leaders don’t blow with the wind. They are more like a rock, someone who is predictable and people can count on in all situations.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2