The good news is that you made it through 2016 and have a chance to take on new challenges in 2017. As I reflected on 2016 the past couple weeks, one of the things I’m most thankful for is that I have a chance to serve in two organizations that both value servant leadership. The brief points below recap some thoughts I shared at CloudGenera on what servant leadership means to me.
- Be Present. Time is a non-renewable resource. One of the best ways we can serve people is by giving them our undivided attention for specific blocks of time
- Be Prescriptive – Model the types of behaviors we want people to emulate. One of the ways we can do that is knowing the difference between worry and concern. Someone said that Worry pulls tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine.
- Be Personal – Be sensitive enough to be impacted by folks pain but thick-skinned enough to not crumble from their criticism. Understand what motivates people. Think about how people want to grow not just what you can get out of them. Encourage them to be creative. Two questions to ask yourself to evaluate things point: 1) Are you cultivating something in that person you don’t know you need yet? and 2) Are you encouraging people to rest well not just run hard? (Rick Warren has written very well about the need to Distract Daily, Withdraw Weekly and Abandon Annually).
- Be Pellucid (clear, easily understood). This point is purposely ironic. One of the best ways to serve people you lead is when they don’t have to guess what you want or what you’re saying. Their energy should go toward creativity and execution not interpretation of ambiguous goals & directives.
- Be Transparent. Be willing to tell your folks “I did my best but that wasn’t my best. Here’s how I plan to improve next time”. Let your people learn from your mistakes.