Preparing to start our season-long study on leadership with our Aggie Leadership Council. Our council is made up of members of our team and we will meet weekly to discuss, learn and develop leadership concepts. The core of our group will be centered with the goal of being Servant Leaders. In dong some research today for workbooks, I came across an outstanding blog post from Skip Pritchard dealing with nine qualities of servant leaders. You can read the entire post here but here is a brief look at the nine qualities:
1. Values diverse opinions.
A servant leader values everyone’s contributions and regularly seeks out opinions. If you must parrot back the leader’s opinion, you are not in a servant-led organization.
2. Cultivates a culture of trust.
People don’t meet at the water cooler to gossip. Pocket vetoes are rejected.
3. Develops other leaders.
The replication factor is so important. It means teaching others to lead, providing opportunities for growth and demonstrating by example. That means the leader is not always leading, but instead giving up power and deputizing others to lead.
4. Helps people with life issues (not just work issues).
It’s important to offer opportunities for personal development beyond the job. Let’s say you run a company program to lose weight, or lower personal debt, or a class on etiquette. None of these may help an immediate corporate need, but each may be important.
The hallmark of a servant leader is encouragement. And a true servant leader says, “Let’s go do it,” not, “You go do it.”
6. Sells instead of tells.
A servant leader is the opposite of a dictator. It’s a style all about persuading, not commanding.
7. Thinks “you,” not “me.”
There’s a selfless quality about a servant leader. Someone who is thinking only, “How does this benefit me?” is disqualified.
8. Thinks long-term.
A servant leader is thinking about the next generation, the next leader, the next opportunity. That means a tradeoff between what’s important today versus tomorrow, and making choices to benefit the future.
9. Acts with humility.
The leader doesn’t wear a title as a way to show who’s in charge, doesn’t think he’s better than everyone else, and acts in a way to care for others. She may, in fact, pick up the trash or clean up a table. Setting an example of service, the servant leader understands that it is not about the leader, but about others.