Lead With Ser­vice

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas -

The term ‘ser­vant lead­er­ship’ was coined by Robert Green­leaf who worked with the multi­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion AT&T for 40 years. The ser­vant lead­er­ship model puts the ‘sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers’, in­clud­ing com­mu­nity mem­bers and em­ploy­ees, as num­ber one pri­or­ity. It be­gins with the feel­ing that one wants to serve first, and in the wake of the de­sire to serve comes an as­pi­ra­tion to lead.

The best test, ac­cord­ing to Green­leaf, is to find out whether those who are be­ing served grow and evolve as peo­ple; ask your­self, do peo­ple, while be­ing served by me, be­come health­ier, wiser, freer, more au­ton­o­mous and, in the process, be­come ser­vant lead­ers them­selves? Ser­vant lead­er­ship is not a quick-fix so­lu­tion. At the core of it, it is a long-term trans­for­ma­tional and spir­i­tual ap­proach to work.

These are some strong at­tributes of the ser­vant lead­ers. They lis­ten in­tently and em­pa­thet­i­cally to oth­ers. For them, it is very im­por­tant to know the will of the peo­ple, for, they know that un­less peo­ple in an or­gan­i­sa­tion get en­thused by an idea, some­thing great is not likely to hap­pen. There are many bro­ken spir­its roam­ing around in or­gan­i­sa­tions whose per­for­mance is much be­low their true po­ten­tial.

Ser­vant lead­ers, be­ing es­sen­tially spir­i­tual lead­ers, set about heal­ing them. They not only lis­ten in­tently to oth­ers but to their in­ner voice seek­ing to know what one’s body, mind and soul are com­mu­ni­cat­ing. A ser­vant leader might re­ject the be­hav­iour of oth­ers but’ll never re­ject him as a per­son.

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