[vimeo id="138786877"] In recent years, the idea of “servant leadership” has really flourished. Pretty much every industry now emphasizes the importance of having leaders who invest in those around them and posture for them success. Recently, Colonel Connor in the United States Air Force published an article on what he learned about servant leadership in the military. Though we might not usually think of the Air Force as a profession that would emphasize servant leadership, selfless service has always been a staple of the military. So here are a few of the principles he shared along with some of my own thoughts.
First, a servant leader practices awareness. You can’t be aware unless you first listen to those around you. What are their concerns? What’s going on in their lives? Do they have a new idea for your organization? You also have to be observant and notice when people are really struggling. When you develop this awareness, you build trust and respect which is crucial to an effective organization.
Secondly, servant leadership is about empowering others to succeed. Your job as a servant-leader is simple: train and equip others to succeed and then get out of the way. That means giving them the tools, the mentorship, and the opportunity to flourish. If you invest yourself into the success of those around you, they will invest themselves into the success of your organization.
Lastly, servant leaders cultivate team cultures. In any leadership position, you always win as a team and lose as a team, so it’s important that everyone is united in going after the organization’s goals. A leader can foster that team-spirit by making sure to get everyone’s input in the decision-making process. When you ask someone if they have an idea, you’re not only showing you appreciate their opinion, but also that you value their position on the team.
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