MP Message / Thought Leadership

A Serving Heart

MP MessageToday, I’d like to discuss the final chapter of Pat Williams’ book, Leadership Excellence: the Seven Sides of Leadership for the 21st Century, covering the seventh side of leadership:

A Serving Heart: “To be a true servant-leader requires that you be a servant first, by serving the people who report to you, and a leader second with the respect that you gained by serving first. Servant-leadership comes from the heart and requires that the leader sincerely cares about people.” – Michael Bergdahl, leadership author and speaker

The first six sides described so far have been nouns – Vision, Communication, People Skills, Character, Competence and Boldness. The last side is a verb, an action word. Serving takes effort and an innate sense of compassion for other people. Leadership is serving, and serving is sacrifice. There are many five- and six-sided leaders in the world. But it is those who possess all seven sides who reach the greatest heights. Pat Williams offers these Servant Leadership Tips to guide you to being a better serving leader:

  1. Relinquish the Right to Control. A servant, by definition, is someone who has no control. Servants serve; they don’t control anything.
  2. Learn to See Servanthood as an End, Not a Means to an End. It’s never about: “I served you; now you owe me.” Don’t serve people in order to get something in return.
  3. Let People See You Serve. Servant leaders will roll up their sleeves and dig in when needed, and not just bark orders from the sidelines.
  4. Get Your Shoulders Dirty. Why dirty shoulders? Because servants get their shoulders dirty when they lift others up and let them stand tall on their shoulders. A genuine servant doesn’t care who gets the credit and glory.
  5. Focus on Influence. Servant leaders are fully aware that they are influencers with people watching them at all times. The people who look up to you notice when we cut ethics corners, fudge our expense accounts, and take liberties with traffic laws.
  6. When People Fail You, Dispense Forgiveness and Grace. The act of forgiving another human being is an expression of servantlike humility. Forgiveness is the key to getting the best performance from the people in your organization.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of MP Messages about Leadership Excellence. Great leaders shape the future. Build these seven principles of leadership excellence into your life and there are no limits to the exciting life you can lead to the amazing feats you can accomplish.

Have a great week.

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