The key to a successful business or happy family lies in caring for others. This principle is powerful. The most important aspect in any of our lives should be relationships with others, and businesses aren’t any different. People thrive on knowing they’re cared for—this makes them feel important and appreciated. Being a leader who values the happiness and successes of others is a leader that people want to follow and learn from.
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
Servant leadership is a type of leadership that focuses on your responsibility to build others, rather than focusing on yourself and the advantages of being in a leadership position. When you are a servant leader, you are a person who cares about others. You are person who helps others become more successful.
A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. This type of leadership focuses on people, not just product. A happy team is a more productive team!
Reflecting on this thought with how you approach your team can make all the difference in your relationship with them. This applies to your home life, too. Making time for each member of your family deliberately and thoughtfully shows that you care about them and their successes. Be a source of encouragement!
Here’s some tips to refresh your servant leadership and let others know that you’re there for them:
- Seek to understand the other person’s perspective when conversing. This does not mean you have to agree with them. Empathize with them when they express frustration or an upsetting situation.
- Clarify. When at an impasse, it is important to resolve conflict in a constructive way, to let your team know that you are coming from a position of caring, while working through tough situations. Conflict can be a good thing, and usually helps to create strength in relationships, personal and professional—when worked through constructively. One of the best ways to be a servant leader, is to use your skills to communicate, connect, and clarify while empathizing with your team.
- Build trust. This starts with listening effectively and tossing out any preliminary assumptions that have been made. Relationships with others cannot prosper without a certain level of trust. You can build trust by modeling transparency and being the most honest version of yourself. Admit when mistakes are made and include the team in planning for the future.
“Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability. Be transparent with your team, even when the truth may be unpopular or inconvenient.” ~Bill George
The most important way we can take back our power is by uplifting those around us. Through servant leadership, we are empowering others to do their very best, we are serving instead of commanding, showing humility instead of brandishing authority, and always looking to enhance the development of staff members in ways that unlock potential, creativity and sense of purpose.
The results can be astounding.