June 23, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Leadership Style – Servant Leadership and Communication

By Bill Flint

This article is part of a series of Leadership Style articles about Servant Leadership.

Servant Leaders Communication and Conflict Resolution skillsOne of the most common challenges in today’s work-place, is to find the time to improve on communication and conflict resolution skills.

Leaders complain about people being lazy or not doing their jobs right, or people complain about the leaders being so busy that they don’t have time to spend with their people.  The workforce complains their leaders don’t set expectations, don’t ask for feedback and don’t really care about them. Then we wonder why companies have a gap between their vision and the results they are achieving. Everything in life and business revolves not just around communication but the “right kind of communication.”

Communication is the # 1 problem in almost all businesses

Why is communication considered as the main problem in many businesses?

  • It keeps the people and the organization from reaching their potential.
  • It’s not because people aren’t talking, but in most cases, it’s the “wrong kind” of communication or a “lack of the right kind.”
  • People are talking at each other, but not getting through.

Servant Leaders and communication

What Servant Leaders have learned about great communication is:

  • Setting Goals
  • Helping people understand what is expected and why?
  • What they will be measured by?
  • Performance reviews—how they are doing, what are they doing well and the areas they need to improve on.
  • Asking people for their ideas and suggestions.
  • Providing, inspiration, encouragement and motivation.
  • Discipline
  • Conflict Resolution
  • I’m your “coach not your boss.” I’m here for you.

Servant leaders know it’s their goal to “help both the people and the bottom line  grow.”

It’s not an either or. You need both for a business and its people to build a sustainable competitive advantage.

Communication and Conflict Resolution

Servant Leaders need to realize about communication and conflict resolution: [Read more…]

Leadership Styles: The Vision of a Servant Leader

By Bill Flint

Vision of a Servant LeaderAs part of a series of articles about Leadership Styles, today’s post is about the vision of a Servant Leader.

The best strategy to achieve organizational goals and create competitive advantage is by developing an environment of caring, mutual trust, and respect between the leaders and the people by focusing their efforts and strategy on developing the full potential of all associates and the business, therefore creating a winning partnership.

Servant Leaders Live Their Vision By:

  • Treating people as the most important asset in the company
  • Seeing people not as they are today but their potential
  • Realizing people are more important than tasks
  • Measuring their own success by the success of those they lead
  • Knowing leadership is about building relationships throughout the company
  • Impacting people’s lives by mentoring and coaching
  • Setting goals, objectives, actions, and measurements, with accountability for the results
  • Leading not just with their words but with their actions and modeling the behavior
  • Believing it is the responsibility of leaders to make a difference in people’s lives
  • Encouraging, inspiring, and motivating their people

When you see the definition and vision of a servant leader, it seems it should be something every leader and every company would want to embrace. It’s hard to argue with developing leaders who exhibit such skills, abilities, vision, and philosophy for leading others. But for many, it’s hard for them to understand the importance and make servant leadership a way of life.

Often when companies have tried to start new initiatives to improve relationships with their people, it has failed, because there is no real strategy or plan for developing and implementing a process. Real change takes time, patience and perseverance to make the needed people and culture improvements.

They look at it as a program and not as an on-going process. Programs are usually looked at as something short term, while process-building is for the long term. If servant leadership is going to be successful, leadership must be committed to the journey and the changes that everyone in the company will need to make in the way they lead, interact, and think about the people they lead.

Success Factors for Servant Leadership

Some of those changes will require a commitment that causes leaders to learn how to:

  • Balance the leadership of the people with the stewardship of the company.
  • Establish the expectations with their leadership for this new servant leadership style.
  • Obtain support by all senior leadership (from the top), or it will not work
  • Ensure leaders, supervisors, and middle -managers who won’t support it or cannot change leave the company.
  • Realize it is a journey and not a quick fix.
  • Communicate the process and the strategy to the total workforce, so they know what is happening and will hold you accountable for making it happen.
  • Expect scepticism from some associates.
  • Remove the barriers that keep people and the company from reaching their goals.
  • Empower your people.
  • Dramatically improve communication up and down the chain; communication will be the glue that makes it work.
  • Build real relationships with those they lead.
  • Make resolving conflict “job one,” because there will be plenty of conflicts as you implement this strategy.
  • Move your company from reactive to proactive in its personality.
  • Position people as problems solvers, not problems in the mind of all the leaders.
  • Develop an atmosphere of innovation and imagination.
  • Make motivating, encouraging, inspiring, and energizing your people the new normal.
  • Train and teach to build your associates into a team of champions.
  • See problems as opportunities.
  • Concentrate on developing the potential of your people.
  • Set goals, objectives, actions, and measurements, with accountability for the results. Build a sense of community, where everyone is pulling together to build your competitive advantage.
  • Train, teach, and learn over and over.
  • Remember there will sometimes be pain in the journey, but it will be worth it. [Read more…]

Leadership Styles – Is Servant Leadership the Answer?

By Bill Flint

Is Servant Leadership the answer?When we look at the state of our economic climate, politics, and the decline in trust people around the world have for their leaders, it becomes obvious that there needs to be a new direction and emphasis on the right kind of leadership.

Almost every night on TV, we see the despair people feel around the world because leadership isn’t working. In countries where leaders have used the power of the “big stick and control” leadership model to try and control their people, we see individuals willing to die in the streets to bring about change.

What is the answer to this leadership crisis?

Servant leadership is about working to eliminate conflict through good communication, listening to other people’s ideas, and being civil in the way we treat those with ideas we don’t agree with, so we can reach agreement for the good of the people we lead. This leadership style could be the answer.

Leaders are forgetting that leadership is always about thepeople. That doesn’t mean people will always get what they want, but even medicine that doesn’t taste well can make you feel better. We need leaders who really care about us, who will be honest, explain what needs to be done, and tell us the pain and the sacrifices we must go through and the actions needed to make things better. We need leaders who can develop a three-year strategy, instead of throwing abandon to the wind and coming up with a new program all the time to satisfy special interests and try to give us false hope.

How will Servant Leadership be an answer to the problems?

What kind of leadership is needed to bring about the changes we desperately need?

Who are Servant Leaders in Business?

Men and women who bring their purpose, passion, and character, and when combined with their God-given skills and abilities for leadership, bring out the best in people, helping a business develop and implement a sustainable process for success.

To Develop This Type Of Business Environment Requires Several Things [Read more…]

Leadership Styles – Servant Leadership

servant leadershipFollowing a recent article about Grateful Leadership, I want to look at another leadership style that will help you become a better leader.

Recently I came across an article by Darrell Andrews, who is a sport enthusiast, stating that he came across two types of leaders in sport. Some leaders enjoy the adoration that comes with success and clamor the spotlight when all is going well. They love giving interviews and communicating with the media during good times.

Unfortunately when things start to become challenging, these leaders don’t do so well. They begin to blame weakness in their organization for the failure. They start to pressure the people they are leading and make life miserable for everyone else, for in their mind, the problems in no way can be their fault. Although they love success, they are poor examples of leadership.

The second type of leader enjoys success too but they do something a little different. They give credit to the people within their organizations or businesses. This type of leader is a leader of people and they recognize that success in any organization starts with the people who work within it.

Servant Leadership

Lute Olsen, the former University of Arizona basketball coach put it this way: When the team wins, I give them the credit, when play is mediocre, we both need to improve, but when the team loses, it is my fault. What a great example of leadership!

We need more leaders like this today – leaders with an attitude of service. This leadership style is also called Servant Leadership.

Wikipedia defines it as follows:

“Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and a set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top. By comparison, the servant leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible”. [Read more…]

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