If I were to ask you ‘what is leadership’, how would you define that?
This is a simple, yet loaded question.
There are books, podcasts, conferences, speakers, and workshops all investing and teaching on the topic of leadership. There are laws, levels, types, and methods of leadership, but when you strip it to the foundation – leadership is about others.
Good leaders are less concerned with themselves, and more concerned about motivating and mobilizing others towards a common goal or destination. The greatest leaders of history prove this to be true.
A Servant Leader uses their influence to mobilize and develop others
Often times we equate ‘power’ and ‘titles’ with people of influence and leadership. However, I will argue that the greatest leaders at the core were — and are servant leaders.
I define a servant leader as someone who inspires from a place of humility, and uses their influence and power to mobilize and develop others. It is a selfless ambition towards a greater destination or goal.
Servant leadership in its most basic sense is putting others before yourself. Author and speaker Chris Voss said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a team” (Global Leadership Summit 2019).
As leaders, we must be able to connect and develop our teams to achieve even greater success.
Here are 3 basic steps to becoming a Servant Leader
- Lead Yourself. Are you leading yourself or possess the qualities of a servant leader? Take a hard look at the way you lead and the culture around you. You must be brutally honest with yourself so you can improve. As a Leadership Coach, this is where I start with the leader. One of the greatest tools for this is to have a group outside of work who can hold you accountable.
- Create a Servant Culture. Does your team and work culture reflect aspects of servant leadership? As the leader, you must be the greatest servant. Create a culture within yourself that you desire to see in others. Set values and find practical ways to engage your team in these values.
- Systems and Pipelines. Do you have systems in place to highlight, reward and develop leaders who are serving others? Create a leadership pipeline with systems in place for long-term development. I guarantee you, if you invest long-term in your people, they will invest long-term in you and your company!
Servant leadership is what leadership is all about. A leader is someone who has followers. A good leader wants to inspire, invest, and grow others. When your team wins, you win.
Be the leader who celebrates others!
Article by Jonathan Rector
Jon is an Executive Leadership Coach with Rector Professional Coaching.