Sometimes being a great leader means you have to change your thinking. Check out this quote by Henry Ford:
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, 'a faster horse'!" - Henry Ford
I recently read an article in Inc. entitled Research: 6 Things Great Leaders Always Do (But Mere Bosses Typically Fear), A top leadership scholar discovers the most effective characteristics that lead to successful company cultures, by Marcel Schwantes. I think this article explains beautifully how to succeed as a servant leader - the leadership model of choice at Crawford Landscaping. To review, Servant leadership is an understanding and practice of leadership that places the good of those led over the self-interest of the leader.
According to the article, there are 6 things that research indicate successful servant leaders do:
1. Leaders display authenticity:
- By being learners.
- By being willing to be transparent and being known.
- By being self aware -- understanding themselves and others.
- By being open to input from others, even those below them.
- By maintaining integrity, honesty, consistency, and ethical behavior.
2. Leaders value others:
- By believing and trusting in people.
- By maintaining a high view of people, and showing respect and dignity.
- By putting others first before self.
- By listening -- receptive, nonjudgmental listening.
3. Leaders develop people:
- By providing for learning and growth.
- By developing potential.
- By modeling appropriate behavior.
- By building up others through encouragement and affirmation.
4. Leaders provide leadership:
- By envisioning the future.
- By using intuition and foresight to direct the organization.
- By taking initiative and moving out ahead.
- By clarifying goals and expectations.
5. Leaders share leadership:
- By sharing power and empowering others.
- By sharing status in relation to position, honor, and self-promotion.
- By using persuasion to influence others instead of coercion.
- By pushing authority down.
6. Leaders build community:
- By enhancing relationships and relating well to others.
- By promoting a sense of belonging and connection for all team members.
- By working collaboratively, emphasizing teamwork.
- By valuing the differences of others -- differing gifts, cultures, personalities, and viewpoints.
To be an effective servant leader, one must: always be open to input from others, grow others by trusting them to do their job, put others and their success ahead of yours, build up others through encouragement and affirmation, be clarifying roles & goals, by sharing credit, and promoting a sense of belonging and connection.
In other words, make things less about you!
Source: Research: 6 Things Great Leaders Always Do (But Mere Bosses Typically Fear), A top leadership scholar discovers the most effective characteristics that lead to successful company cultures, by Marcel Schwantes; published on Inc.com August 21, 2017; https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/research-6-things-great-leaders-always-do-but-mere.html