A leader’s career development is multi-layered – but if they don’t get this layer… well, they may not get any of the others.
I’m talking about the idea of servant-leadership. This concept puts your team before yourself, in both good times and bad. This Inc. article cites a perfect description:
In Good to Great, Jim Collins sets up an interesting metaphor using a mirror in the corner office to explain the difference between a servant leader and a self-serving leader. When things are going well in an organization run by a self-serving leader, this type of leader tends to look in the mirror, beat on their chest, and declare, “Look at what I’ve accomplished.” But when things go wrong, this leader looks out the window to see who’s to blame for the failure.
Servant leaders approach it differently. When things go wrong, they look in the mirror and consider what they could have done differently. When things go well, they look out the window to see who they can praise.
What kind of leader would you rather work for? By combining equal parts serving and leading, a servant leader creates a balance that creates both great results and great human satisfaction. Leaders who serve are the leaders we need today.
Doesn’t this make so much sense? As the article goes on to explain, good servant-leaders improve employee retention, increase trust and outperform the competition.
And yet I see companies and managers overlook this leadership trait all the time. Which means if you can master servant-leadership, there’s opportunity for you to truly shine.