"Profit is the applause you get for creating a motivating environment for your people, so they take care of your customers. And so, that's the power of servant leadership."

As the saying goes, people leave bad managers. Having been on both sides of the fence, I agree with this saying and also understand the challenges of being a good manager/leader. There are leaders I will follow to the end of the earth with, while some I tolerate due to my sense of responsibility to my work & stakeholders.

Hence in a bid to learn and improve, I’ll always try to pick up positive traits from leaders I admire, while noting which traits to avoid from managers-in-title e.g. openness & transparency vs micro-managing & bureaucracy. And of course training helps too, as it’ll introduce new concepts and/or reveal blind spots.

I recently completed Ken Blanchard’s course on Servant Leadership and gained some new perspectives from his frank sharing:

1. Leadership
     a. Human Ego inhibits Good Intentions
         i.  False Pride (Think they’re better)
         ii. Fear (Think they’re not good enough)
     b. Called vs Driven
         i.  Called: Thinks everything is on loan
         ii. Driven: Thinks they own everything (Self-oriented & controlling)

2. How to Start
     a. Set the Vision, Direction and Goals (Picture of the future)
     b. Make your people responsible and help them win
     c. Start making a difference right where you are

3. Opposites
     a. Success (Money) vs Significance (Made a difference)
     b. Recognition vs Service
     c. Power vs Loving Relationships

4. Habits of Servant Leaders
     a. Start your day slowly with thoughtful, reflective self (Set goals & visions)
     b. Think about how you want to be remembered (Obituary)
     c. Identify your values (Know who you want to be in the world)
     d. Write a journal at the end of the day (Assessment)
         i.  Praisings (What did I do well today, that’s consistent with my values)
         ii. Redirections (Instant replay, do over)

5. Creating a Servant Leader Culture
     a. Clear Vision (What we want to do)
     b. Clear Values (External values & focus)
     c. Clear Internal Goals (People ownership)
     d. Focus on People (Show that we care)

Leadership is an intentional practice with empathy and empowerment, where your patience & limits will be tested. But when the dust settles & the team delivered, that sense of pride & fulfillment is priceless.

Leadership is not a walk in the park, and always a work in progress. Persevere with passion and empathy. Let’s develop and improve together on this leadership journey. We’re all leaders in our own way, regardless whether you’re in an appointed leadership position.

"Create an organization that people can care, and they'll take care of your customers, and that takes care of your organization."