It is said that servant leaders – those who truly lead from the heart – are the most effective.
Indeed, inspiring and influencing others to rise to their personal and collective best yields much greater results. And frankly, this makes a significant impact in the lives of those who are part of this, as well as those clients who benefit.
But there are situations when such leadership does not work.
How can you tell whether to adopt this style or not?
First, servant leadership is a philosophy that genuinely puts people first, takes a keen interest in their development, and embraces shared power rather than a hierarchical style.
In fact, leading from the heart – another way to describe servant leadership at its finest – requires embracing and modeling 7 traits:
The problem is, when leaders don’t incorporate all 7 traits, the power of leading from the heart is compromised.
The question becomes, “Are you willing to work on adopting all 7 traits?”
Ask yourself the following:
- Trust – do my directives and communication reflect integrity? Are these consistent, and if not, am I willing to course-correct this with others so that I build trust with them?
- Authenticity – do I come from “center” with ease, not trying to emulate the style or persona of others?
- Empathy – can I easily detect the emotions of others, place myself in their shoes, and affirm them?
- Compassion – do my decisions and actions reflect that I put people first?
- Humility – do I respect others as much as I do myself, and can I recognize their gifts and talents as much as my own? Do I realize that without my team and the employee base that we could not accomplish what we do?
- Courage – am I willing to confront the tough stuff, even when the topic and decisions I may need to make are not popular ones?
- Motivation – am I motivated first by what is best for the organization, or am I preoccupied with what is best for me?
If you are willing to sharpen these 7 traits, you will find that your team and culture will reflect greater satisfaction, higher engagement, and the innovative spark to help you and the organization meet the future.
Which of these traits is most important for you to work on as you begin to up-level your leadership?
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.