October 22, 2014

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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

  • Businesses must learn to embrace the vision and principles that servant leaders bring to a business and the people who work there- building true caring relationships with the people they lead.
  • Most businesses need to be taught what servant leadership is about and how it can make a difference. We have somehow convinced ourselves that business and our feelings in business and life should be different and separate, that what works in building relationships in life won’t work in a business setting. Leaders must realize that people are people and encouragement, caring, listening, relationships, and sense of community works everywhere.
  • Businesses need to establish servant leadership principles and philosophies as a goal for their leaders and then hold them accountable for becoming a servant leader. It must become a way of life and be sustainable.
  • Only people with leadership ability and potential, who clearly understand the leadership expectations for them, should ever be put in leadership positions.
  • Businesses must establish the training (teaching), coaching, and mentoring process that helps develop servant leaders. They must remember it is a journey and not an event. The training process must be one that is sustained no matter what is happening in the business.
  • Leaders need to embrace servant leadership as something they aspire to become.

Please tell us in the comment section if you agree that Servant Leadership is the answer to our leadership problems.

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About the author: Bill Flint is the founder, president, and CEO of Flint Strategic Partners located in Goshen, Indiana. His firm provides servant leadership training, strategic planning and sales and marketing strategy and implementation. He is also the author of the best-selling book, The Journey To Competitive Advantage Through Servant Leadership.