Servant Leadership is the Answer to Managing Teams in Turbulent Times
We live in turbulent times, from the economy to layoffs to how quickly the world changes. It affects your team more than you may realize. How do you, as a leader of a company, manage this?
Companies and leaders today have an excellent opportunity to be Servant Leaders. It allows them to serve their employees and meet them where they are. It’s the answer to managing teams in turbulent times.
What is Servant Leadership?
Servant Leadership is a leadership philosophy focused on providing service to others. It is the idea that leaders should strive to serve their employees rather than simply manage them.
Servant Leadership emphasizes collaboration, caring for the needs of others, and empowering those in the leader’s care to achieve their own potential. The emphasis is on building trust, developing relationships, and working towards common goals.
It emphasizes empathy, fairness, and stewardship when making decisions.
Is laying off employees Servant Leadership?
These days there have been a lot of companies laying off employees. Is this Servant Leadership?
I don’t think so.
While difficult situations can arise in any workplace, Servant Leadership seeks to avoid layoffs and work towards more positive outcomes for the followers in its care. Instead, Servant Leaders seek to find mutually beneficial solutions with the people they lead.
If companies are laying off people because they are over-forecasted or were overaggressive in hiring, they fail. The CEO failed as the leader of the organization.
You are laying off employees to appease shareholders who only consider the bottom line. Some companies have billions of dollars in cash. The quickest way to reduce expenses is to lay people off. It’s the easy route, not Servant Leadership.
Servant Leadership isn’t easy
Servant Leadership is challenging because it requires selflessness, care, and compassion. It requires a leader to put other people's needs before their own, which can be difficult in business settings where there is often competition for resources.
Servant Leaders also need to empathize with those they are leading, staying mindful of the challenges that they may face. This means taking the time to understand their followers’ needs and working to provide them with what they need.
Last week, I told the story of failing with my first team. It wasn’t until I was vulnerable and asked for their honest and critical feedback did things turn around.
Servant Leadership also involves stewardship – making fair decisions that benefit everyone involved. All of this takes time, effort, and dedication on the part of the leader, making Servant Leadership a challenging but ultimately rewarding practice.
Being a leader can be tough. When you lead with your heart, it makes it much easier.
When you connect with your team on a personal level, you build an immediate level of trust, a bridge worth building.
If you are struggling with your team or your company, I can help. Schedule a free consultation to discover how to build trust with your team to move mountains.