Tim is a seasoned entrepreneur that has been around the block multiple times. Over the past 10 years he has grown his business into a million dollar company. He is a “go getter” and thinks of running a business like being in battle. His primary frustrations in his company is communicating with his staff and keeping up with the times of the ever changing technology realm. Not being a technical person, this causes more challenges in communicating with his technical savvy staff.
Due to Tim’s personality and frustrations, he has been known to blow up at different members of his staff. Although, he has even said yelling at employees is not a good thing, he still finds himself doing it from time to time. Tim is a very generous boss, but he leads with more of a dictatorship style leadership approach. Which only motivates his staff by fear of getting in trouble, rather than being motivated by what drives them.
The crazy part of Tim’s situation is it would only take some small tweaks to his leadership that would change the whole culture of his company. What I am referring to is Servant-hood Leadership, or what it is often referred to is Servant Leadership.
Let’s face it, we are all leaders in some way. We might be leading a huge company with many managers, or a small team. You could also be leading your family, a friend that looks up to, whatever. There is someone that you are leading.
Servant Leadership is a type of leadership that leads by example. It is the opposite of a dictatorship style and it all starts with a mindset shift. Servant-hood Leaders take the time to discover the skills, passions and what drives their employees. They acquire the people skills to help themselves communicate effectively with their team. And they take the time to lead by example and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
If only Tim understood what we are about to cover. Again, please don’t think you have to be a big staff to implement this. You might have a virtual VA, or two children at home that could really use your leadership. This is also relevant for your clients. If you are a coach or consultant of some type, Servant-hood Leadership is the way to go.
So let me give you a combo of WHY you should be doing this and HOW you can do it effectively.
1. Investing In Yourself Gets A Great Return Within Your Team. What I am talking about is people skills. In my opinion people skills are one of the most valuable skills you can ever have. So take a class, buy a book, whatever you need to do to be awesome with people. When you do this, you will see a difference in how people respond to you. Dealing with confrontations will be easier and you will never have to lose your cool again.
2. Builds A Great Culture: Learn to listen and watch. The dictator type of leader will walk in a room and start demanding things and giving deadlines. And although things might get done, people will begin not to feel appreciated and this will make a very bad culture within your company. But when you take the time to listen to what your people are saying and watch their behavior and body language, you can get a sense of what is really going on in the office and even in their individual lives. And just like we say “listen to your customers”, why not listen to your staff? So make it a point to be aware of your people.
3. Builds A Great Culture (Continued): Empathize with people. Similar to listing and watching, we must know that people want to be treated like people. People want to hear “good job!” when they complete something on time. People never want to feel like they are rejected and that they don’t matter. It is wise to make sure that none of your team members feel this way. Think about what it would be like and what kind of amazing culture you could have if everyone is coming to work pumped about the direction the business is going and they get to do the work they are awesome at under your leadership? Pretty cool!
4. Destroys The Dictatorship. A Servant-hood leader uses persuasion instead of demands. But that is only half of it, you must get your ego out of the way and be willing to get your hands dirty too. So often I have seen people’s ego get in the way of their own business growth. It really is kind of sad and stupid all at the same time. You have a business and you have a team, you MUST be willing to get your team the proper training they need to do the job effectively. Even if that means you take 30 minutes out of your precious day to do it. Just because someone’s job title changes, doesn’t mean they know how to really be a high performer. So lead by example with integrity and passion. These are the people that are going to help you take your business to the next level. Lead them right.
5. Creates Change. Be willing to make a change. If you find yourself in the same position as Tim, you must be willing to change your leadership style. By doing so, not only will you build a better personal brand because you won’t have the reputation of blowing up all the time, but because it might be the only way to really get the best top performers working like a well-oiled machine.
6. Gives You Control To Make Top Performers. Yes, I do get leading by example takes work, but just think about the amazing opportunity it gives you. It’s like you are a potter and your staff is the clay. You get to mold them into pure awesomeness, meaning you will have awesome people working for you. What boss wouldn’t want that?! You will have control of how your team’s workflows and process are implemented. Instead of people butting heads, you have people in full agreement with you and your decisions because you have taken the time to teach them, show them and make them feel important.
Servant Leadership is about leading your team, your clients, your family to greatness all while you are offering value through your business. It becomes a Win-Win-Win situation. Your team wins because they are being lead correctly and feel appreciated. Your customers win because your business is operating the way it should and producing an amazing product and experience for your customers. You win because you have a well-oiled machine changing lives and growing your bank account.
Please keep in mind that your team is made up of real people. Be sure you treat them like it. You and I are in the people business, we serve our customers and clients. But we should also be serving our team as well.
In the comments:
I would love to hear about how you have been lead in the past. Did you have someone that did a great job leading or did you get stuck with a dictator like Tim?