Do You Want to Become a Servant Leader?

Servant Leadership is one of the top three qualities I admire in leaders. I first became aware of this concept when I read the book The Servant, by James C. Hunter. This book greatly influenced my last five years as a corporate leader, as I noticed common elements between my personal philosophy and the principles of servant leadership. It led me to commit to integrate them in the way I think and behave, inside and outside the business world.\r\n\r\nLet me outline the top three concepts from this book that represent the most effective leadership lessons:\r\n\r\n• “Leaders identify and meet the legitimate demands of their people, removing barriers, so they can serve the customer.” This is the best definition of servant leadership. It connects the internal role of the leader (removing barriers) with its external one (serving the customer). I not only see both roles connected, but interdependent. Both have to happen in unison, or employees will not perform at their best and the customers won’t buy.\r\n\r\n• Power vs. authority: The author defined power as “the ability to force or coerce someone to do your will because of your position.” He then defined authority as “the skill of getting people to willingly do your will because of your personal influence.” Which leadership trait are you most used to seeing around you? And which would you like to see being practiced more often by others and by you?\r\n\r\n• The author writes about how leaders have a personal mission statement of what they are about and what they stand for. Have you defined, in writing, what you want to be about and what you want to stand for? It’s never too early to develop this life-changing definition. And it’s never too late.\r\n\r\nLet me close with this Chinese proverb: “If you do not change your direction, you will end up exactly where you are headed.” Count on my help if you want to embark on this journey.\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Consultant, Facilitator & Coach\r\

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