I had an extremely inspiring week last week. We kicked off a new year of Leadership Roundtable Groups that are focused on learning the principles of servant leadership.
Last year we had one group of 24 leaders in Alexandria, MN participate in the Leadership Roundtable experience. This year we have 4 Leadership Roundtable Groups, 3 in Alexandria, MN and 1 in Willmar, MN involving about 70 leaders. I am currently talking to two other communities about starting up Leadership Roundtable Groups as well.
It is so encouraging to see the level of enthusiasm for self-development and learning more about servant leadership by people who are leading others within these communities in out-state Minnesota. There is no question in my mind, that not only are the businesses that these leaders serve, going to greatly benefit from moving towards a culture of servant leadership, but the entire community will benefit as well.
As people within communities embrace the idea that they are there first and foremost to serve others and the greater good, can you imagine what can take place?
I had a great question from a participant this week in one of our initial sessions. He asked: “Given the data and clear statistics that companies that embrace a culture of servant leadership far outperform the norm in profitability, employee retention, safety, employee satisfaction, etc., why don’t more companies and leaders embrace this type of leadership philosophy and culture?
What a GREAT question!! I certainly have my opinions on this, but I would like your thoughts on this subject. Please weigh in on this question by posting a comment. All of our readers will benefit and it might lead to some interesting insights on the subject.
Have an awesome upcoming week!
Maple Syrup Report: In the first week we collected 12 gallons of sap. The weather actually got very warm this week and the temps are not dropping below freezing at night, which you need to get the optimum sap flow. We’ll see what the upcoming week brings.
The culture is a reflection, to varying degrees, of the CEO, their beliefs and their view on priorities. Priorities change however beliefs at the top are hard wired and this may not align in some instances. I also believe that there are organizations that practice servant leadership but do not refer to it as such. I feel at least in my neck of the woods, greater Boston, the concept of Servant Leadership and it’s application is not well known. I have no data to support that however. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks so much for your thoughts! I couldn’t agree more that a CEO has a great deal to do with the culture of an organization. The power becomes when that culture is intentionally institutionalized throughout the organization and it is shared to the point that the company values are what dictate decisions and actions. You are also absolutely right about some companies have a culture of servant leadership without ever mentioning the word. Leaders who have a desire to serve their people and organization for the greater common good are a great thing. I know employees and customers prefer to work with these organizations!
I agree with Brian. Additionally, these leaders focus on short term results, especially public companies. When leaders focus solely on quarterly performance, it leads to erratic short term cost side adjustments that undermine the long term financial health of their organizations.
I believe that “servant leadership” is an old concept that should be brought back to the forefront again, although at the time, it didn’t even have a name.
I have worked in a company that embraced the concept of the greater good – where doing what was best for all was encouraged and even sometimes rewarded, but reward or recognition was not the focus, just carrying out the principles of the management. But that was in the 60’s and 70’s. I even remember that the managers had to prepare a budget meant to be implemented if times became difficult. In many instances, the manager took themselves out of the budget and moved subordinates into the management position insuring the employees of future employment and continued product.
I have also seen companies change from the “servant leadership” principle to what is going to make me look good – even in the short term. This change disrupted the company, confused the employees, encouraged singular focus and the fall out – a loss of good people, loss of customers and actually a lack of respect and trust for one another within the corporation and the industry.
I have also worked within organizations whose sole focus was short term spearheaded by “watch your back” mentality which was an extremely stressful environment which led to the revolving door employee – loss of bad but also good employees.
I have now embraced the “servant” role but within the religious arena and it has even spread to the secular area of my life. If the focus is servitude rather than me-attitude – your environment, your product, the people that you serve will be minimally satisfied but more than likely will have a positive chain reaction even within their own worlds.