Monday, April 14, 2008

Thought for the Week - 4/14/08

"The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority." - Ken Blanchard

In our original post, we made the statement that: "More and more leaders today still do not understand that in order to be successful, in order to inspire and motivate people, it takes more than being told what to do and given a paycheck. It is simply no longer acceptable to lead through negative manipulation, force, and outright deceit. The days of employees being grateful to their bosses because they were given a job and then being willing to be abused, under appreciated, and ignored are over. There is a new age of leadership emerging which focuses on caring for and serving others."

What kind of leader are you? Why do you believe this is the most effective way to lead?


jannfreed said...

We are on the same page. I believe servant leadership is the only way to lead. Why is this not the norm?

Rick Pierce said...


As I suggested in my first post on this blog, unfortunately, many leaders still believe that we can not afford to set ourselves up for vulnerability. That we need to value strength, power, and control over support, empathy and understnading.

These are not bad things to value if valued properly. Unfortunately, many leaders often miss the boat on where true strength, control, and power comes from. From my experience, and that of many others, true strength, power and control comes through showing our vulnerabilities. They come through our weaknesses – our ability to be human.

It is exactly this style of leadership that people are asking for. Those leaders who care for people and hold high standards for behavior, performance, and attitudes are seen as inspiring and motivating. They are the leaders who see something in others that most refuse to see. These leaders allow room for mistakes and risks; they provide support and resources along with positive coaching and strong feedback that builds people up.

It is time that we as leaders and followers start to expect, no demand, a new era of leadership. We need to stop acting like victims and stand up and be leaders ourselves. Schools, businesses and other organizations need to consider the long term benefits of placing a high degree of emphasis on taking care of their employees.

One way to accomplish this is to invite staff to share their thoughts and ideas and to take risks through innovative ideas. These types of behaviors can only occur when employees feel safe and cared for. This is truly the greatest gift that a leader can give to their employees.


Jim Rowell said...

I also believe that Servant Leadership is hard to do. I think that is a big reason why it is not the norm. This style of leadership takes courage and time. We need to be willing to consider others first and seek their input and involvement. For many leaders it seems easier at the time to simply tell people what to do or to do it themselves. Servant Leaders also need a willingness to take risks and allow others to take risks. This obviously challenges people with a high need for control.