To transform yourself and your team, you must be willing to serve yourself and your team.
Highly effective and servant leaders assure their teams, and others in the organisation of the following three things:
- Am I important to you?
- Are you trustworthy?
- Can you help me?
They are assured of these three questions because highly effective leaders prove this by taking action. They show their teams and others that they are important to them. They show their teams and others that they are trustworthy. They show their teams and others that they can help them. They prove this on a daily basis.
I have been in the engineering industry for 20 years. I left school at 16 and for the first 10 years I was a mechanical engineer and a railway technician working in Liverpool. For the next 10 years I was a project manager, engineering production manager, engineering performance manager, and engineering technical manager.
I was working in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London in the United Kingdom. So, I have the experience and I know exactly the challenges you are facing as a manager. I am here to help you.
1. What Obstacles Are You Coming Up Against?
Throughout my career, I have worked with engineering depot teams, engineering depot supervisors and engineering depot managers. I have also worked with corporate managers, senior managers and directors. What I have found is that the people working in the depots are not getting the right opportunities.
I know a lot of depot based people who want to climb the leadership ladder, and move into the corporate world. In the industry you are working in, I am sure that the opportunities are few and far between too.
People all over the world are not getting the opportunities to advance their careers at the right level. That is why I write this article, and my other articles.
I want to share with you as many experiences and stories as possible through my articles, so that you can relate to as much as possible. It will also be easier to visualise how the principles I am sharing work.
I want you to visualise the obstacles that I had to overcome, and compare them to the obstacles you have had to, and still have to overcome. By doing that you will have a better idea on how to use these principles to overcome your obstacles.
For me, my biggest obstacle was ME! I still have to overcome the obstacle of ME every day. Actually, I’m pretty sure I will have to keep overcoming the obstacle of ME for the rest of my life. You may have the same obstacle.
I really hope that when you read through this article it will give you the inspiration to look within. I hope it inspires you to focus on working on yourself, and making improvements EVERY DAY.
We have discussed working on ourselves and making improvements quite extensively, and in this article I want to reiterate it. Servant leadership is very rarely practiced in the world of business. It comes across to most teams, supervisors and managers as a weak way to lead a team.
2. Servant Leadership Is Not Weak
If we are being honest with ourselves, the reason most teams, supervisors and managers think that servant leadership is a weak way to lead, is because they are too weak to lead this way. They say things like “That won’t work with my team, we’re different to all the other teams”.
The supervisors and managers need to be in control of everything, and cannot give any of it away due to how insecure they are. We discussed the difference between an insecure leader and a secure leader earlier on. The most common view of servant leadership throughout the world is definitely the view of an insecure leader.
It’s quite funny actually because the insecure leaders who say that servant leadership is weak and will never work, would rather work with a servant leader. It’s ironic because a servant leader is secure, and does everything in the opposite way to an insecure leader.
Why is it good enough for them but for nobody else? My personal viewpoint is that insecure leaders are a major reason why companies don’t achieve the results that they should. So, they should either be removed from the organisation or developed so that they improve.
Being a highly effective and a servant leader is not easy, and it takes a lot of self-development and hard work. But, it is definitely worth it in the end. Working on our character to improve ourselves and our leadership is what is required, and we need to work on ourselves EVERY DAY.
Teams, supervisors and managers who say servant leadership is “weak” are not willing to put the hard work in. So saying it’s “weak” is an excuse for not doing the work.
3. Servant Leadership Is Hard Work
Are you willing to put the hard work in EVERY DAY to improve yourself? Are you willing to build on your character and leadership? I really do hope the answer to those questions is an enthusiastic yes.
If so then continue reading, if not then you might as well quit now as the rest of the article will not help you. But, before you do, please answer the following questions:
- Would you rather work with an insecure leader who dictates to you, tells you what to do and is weak?
- Would you rather work with a secure leader who will do the exact opposite to an insecure leader?
- Who do you think your team would rather work with, an insecure leader or a secure leader?
I hope that you can answer these questions with a strong and secure response. I hope that you are looking forward to continuing, and learning the rest of the leadership principles. You will become a strong, secure, servant, highly effective leader, and you will be able to develop your team to be the same.
You will become the leader that earns respect from your team and not the manager who was given the position because you can manage well. You will become the leader that can climb the leadership ladder, and not the manager who would prefer to foot the ladder because it’s easier.
You will not stand back and watch everybody else climb the ladder to become a highly effective leader because it’s hard work.
Servant leadership is hard work. However, the higher you climb the leadership ladder, the easier it becomes to lead and influence your team. To become a highly effective, servant leader you must climb back down the ladder and help others to climb up.
That is when the really hard work begins because you are not the focal point anymore. The focal point becomes the person you are helping. If you can do this, then you are on your way to becoming a highly effective, servant leader.
4. Are You Willing To Help Others?
Are you willing to climb the leadership ladder? Are you willing to climb back down and help your team do the same? Are you willing to make the sacrifices it takes to help others? I really hope the answer is yes because again, you are well on your way to becoming a highly effective, servant leader.
Helping others is not “weak”. Helping others is one of the most courageous and strongest acts that a human being can perform – serving others.
It takes a lot of strength to work on yourself to develop your character, and leadership. It takes a lot of strength to want to move beyond your position of manager and become a highly effective, servant leader. It takes a lot of strength to develop the passion to want to help your team develop into highly effective leaders, and serve them.
It doesn’t take any strength at all to want to use your position of manager as the authority to dictate to your team. It doesn’t take any strength at all to tell your team what to do, and expect to be served by them. That is easy and only an insecure leader would want to do that.
To become a servant leader you must be strong, work on yourself, and develop yourself EVERY DAY. You must have the passion to help your team become servant leaders too. If you are willing to put the work in to achieve this, then you are on the right path to becoming a highly effective leader.
Being a leader is a responsibility to serve others, not an authority or a right to be served by others.
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,