I got to go to church last Sunday and sit in the pew and listen to someone else preach. It doesn’t happen very often, but it did this last week.
Our Pastor was talking about Servant Leadership, and one of his points was entitled, “Raise Up Better”.
“Raise Up Better” is the idea that we’re raising other people up to be better workers than we are.
We help them by involving them and by serving them.
Servant leadership is when you, as a leader, flip your whole organization upside down.
Most organizations look like a pyramid. A huge base that gets smaller and smaller as it goes up until the top is a point. It is on that point that most leaders sit, giving directions to those below. It is a very private point, with only a few allowed to share. It is to that point that most people aspire to achieve, the ‘top’ so to speak. That’s where the boss is.
Servant leadership turns the whole organization over and the boss is really on the bottom asking questions like, “What can I do to help you do what you need to do?”, and, “What do you think about this?”, or, “What are some things we need to do?”.
Three things to help you get started in turning the pyramid. (By the way, it is a very long process with lots of resistance)
- Start managing by wandering. You know, walk around. Go to other people’s offices instead of having them come to yours. Have conversation about issues out in the open. Invite others to provide ideas and input. You will not be able to use everything others say, but, every once in a while, there is a real nugget.
- Slowdown in your decision-making. Get input even on the easy stuff. Ask what people think. Let people know the kinds of things you have to deal with. Some things must be private, but usually most of what we do can be open. This will slow things down a bit, but it will also bring people along as well.
- Publicly acknowledge others. Give credit for good ideas, good work, people who encourage others, the behind the scenes people, steady work habits, good attendance, continued education, for anything you can. People love to be thanked, especially by the leader. So, do it as often as you can, always privately and as public as possible.
These three things will help you find people who you can invest it, people you can “Raise up better”. Wouldn’t it be nice to leave behind a number of people who can lead better than you did?