Consider “servant leadership” to build results-focused culture

December 3, 2013 1:41 pm Published by

An article in the November issue of Quality Progress Magazine got us thinking about leadership – one of the best ways to improve processes and quality.

The article by Megan Schmidt makes the case that servant leadership – which emphasizes focusing first on the needs of others – creates more effective and innovative teams and greater profitability. This concept is especially relevant for quality organizations because of its relationship with continuous improvement.

Building a service leadership culture is, like producing a product or delivering a service, a process. But as you review your own leadership culture for the new year and beyond, this may be a concept for your organization to consider because it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their role in the hierarchy.

According to the article, “Servant leaders are attentive to the growth and development of their stakeholders, including employees, partners and the community.” The approach, the article continues, “enriches the lives of individuals, builds organizations that are more customer-focused and that it ultimately creates a more just and caring world.”

What makes this approach different? It’s that service to others – a hallmark of any organization – is the prime motivation of the servant leader, and leadership becomes the way of providing that service. Service leaders do not dictate or exert power. Instead, they persuade others to agree and to act. As a result, followers of servant leaders choose to follow voluntarily because they trust the servant leader and own a shared purpose.

While this may sound like the latest business-school babble, it makes a lot of sense to build a more cohesive, trustworthy organization – which can only lead to good things.

Ask Sue for a copy of the article and let us put a plan together to build your own culture of servant leadership.

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This post was written by Roy D'Ardenne