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  • Writer's pictureDean Van Dyke

Leadership in Turbulent Times

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Companies and leaders today have the best opportunity to be servant leaders as we navigate these turbulent times. Why are some knocking the lights out at Servant Leadership and others not so much?

What is Servant Leadership?

Wikipedia defines Servant Leadership "as a philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader’s main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations.”

This type of leadership can be demonstrated from all levels of leadership. To Serve First says, "It is to empower and serve others is the goal with Servant Leadership. It is about identifying and meeting the needs of colleagues, customers, and communities."

Why do some choose not to?

Companies and their leadership have opportunities every day to demonstrate Servant Leadership.

  • Is it...

  • the bottom line?

  • the shareholders?

  • to hard?

The thing that I am really struggling with is the leadership that outright lies to their team. Alas, I will save that topic for another day as it’s a bit raw for me right now.

Is it easy?

Servant Leadership is not easy. It means you are putting others first and your needs second. That is tough to do in this me, me world. Am I successful at doing this day in and day out? No, I am not perfect and nobody else is either. That’s not the point. Leading with your heart to serve others, that’s the point.

We all have examples of leadership that was the best of the best, the worst of the worst and somewhere in between. In fact, I have been at both spectrums. Early in my career, I was the worst. My team hated me...until I was willing to be vulnerable with them and take their honest and critical feedback. I still have the feedback and look at it when I need a check-up from the neck up! It was an AMAZING experience to go through and the experience still brings tears to my eyes when I look at the feedback. If you are struggling with your team and company, please get that check-up from the neck up!

Being a leader is tough, it’s one of the toughest things there is to do. I firmly believe you lead with your heart and THAT makes it much, much easier. Why does it make it easier? It makes it easier because you can:


  • How a colleague is doing?

  • How their family is doing?

  • How was the recital?

  • How was the ball game?

Just ask, be inquisitive, be curious.

Why should I care?

There is a phrase that says…”People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” When people know you care, it builds an immediate level of trust. A level of trust that will enable your team or company to move mountains.

I will leave you with this…What is stopping YOU from being a Servant Leader?

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