As a leader, you are tasked every day with accomplishing something or getting somewhere and whether it’s an objective on your plate right now or you’re already starting to look at the leadership challenges in 2015, you don’t do it yourself. You need people. Leadership isn’t an individual sport. It’s a team sport and wherever two or more are gathered for a purpose, leadership happens. Someone once said that if you find yourself headed somewhere and you look behind you only to find no one there, you’re not leading, you’re just on a walk.
As you lead, you need your people to be and give their best, but the harsh reality is the odds are stacked against you that this is actually happening.
Gallop continues to report year after year that nearly three-quarters of the American workforce are disengaged to some degree and studies of churches show that nearly 50% of staff people and volunteers are disengaged. Stress related illness accounts for one-third of employee absenteeism, 40% of workers don’t take vacation and nearly half of your people’s thoughts -approximately 20,000 – are negative about themselves, their situation or others.
Is this acceptable to you? This is appalling to me and completely unacceptable! The thought that on the teams I lead there is even one person who isn’t engaged and feels they aren’t making a meaningful impact breaks my heart.
Consider your team for a moment. Think of every single person you can and imagine each one giving their full commitment, passion, high levels of teamwork and creativity and each one feeling they are making a meaningful contribution. If you think you’re successful now, imagine the results when this is the case.
The truth is what got you here and the results you are getting won’t get you there and the results you want and need.
There is a formula to turn the tide and it requires you to show up differently as a leader. If you want something to change, something must change and upgrading how you lead provides the largest opportunity to upgrade the results you get.
The answer is servant leadership.
Many have balked at the term servant-leader because of the pejorative connotation and for now, I accept the rejection of the term, and simply ask you to be a servant-leader in action and not in name.
What you do will speak so loudly, people won’t have to even hear what you say or what you call yourself.
Your actions will embody the intentional, character-driven practice of serving and sacrificing for the legitimate needs of other so they willing work towards common goals.
Over the next three months, we’ll explore every element of this, equip you for the leadership treks in front of you and game plan for the often rocky leadership terrain you will encounter along the way.
Stay tuned to this blog, my bi-weekly emails and twitter posts for tips, strategies and skills.