leadership â€¢service servant leadership
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Servant LeadershipU s e y o u r v o i c e to s e r v e o t h e r s .
by Stephen R. Covey
IRGANIZATIONS AREfounded to serve
human needs. Thereis no other reason for their existence.Robert K. Greenleaf, founder of the ser-vant leadership movement, noted:"The only authority deserving our alle-giance is that which is freely grantedby the led to the leader in proportionto the servant stature of the leader."
GreerJeaf talks of the humility ofservant leaders. If you are trying toserve purposes greater than yourknowledge—greater than your com-fort zone—this creates genuine humil-ity and a desire to draw upon helpfrom others. Successfully workingwith others makes your knowledgeand abilities more productive andfacilitates the creation of a comple-mentary team of people who possessknowledge and abilities that can com-pensate for your weaknesses.
This awareness should increaseyour commitment to mentored learn-ing in such areas as personal growth,relationships, and leadership. Wheninformation and knowledge areImpregnated with worthy purposesand principles, you have wisdom.
Wisdom is the child of integrity—being integrated around principles—and integrity is the child of humilityand courage. Humility is the mother ofall the virtues because humilityacknowledges that there are naturallaws or principles that govern the uni-verse. They are in charge. We are not.Pride teaches us that we are in charge.Humility teaches us to live by princi-ples, because they ultimately govern theconsequences of our actions. If humilityis the mother, courage is the father ofwisdom. To live by these principleswhen they are contrary to social mores,norms, and values takes enormouscourage. Ambrose Redmoon said,"Courage is not the absence of fear, butrather the judgment that something elseis more important than fear"
Integrity has two children—wisdomand the abundance mentality. Wisdomcomes to people who educate and obeytheir conscience. The abundance men-tality is cultivated because integrity
breeds inner security. If your sense ofworth is not dependent upon externaljudgments and comparisons, you canbe happy for the successes of others.But if your identify is based on com-parisons, you simply can't be happywhen others succeed because youoperate out of an emotional deficiency.
Wisdom and an abundance mentali-ty lead you believe in people, affirmtheir worth and potential, and thinkin terms of release rather than control.You then respect the power and capac-ity people have to choose; your moti-vation is internal; and you make noattempt to manage, control, or moti-vate others. You inspire rather than
require. You liberate rather than subju-gate people. You don't think zero-sum;you think of third alternatives—highermiddle-ways. You are filled with grati-tude, reverence, and respect for allpeople. You see life as a cornucopia ofresources, opportunity, and growth.
Moral AuthorityWisdom is the beneficial use of
knowledge; wisdom is information andknowledge impregnated with higherpurposes and principles. Wisdomteaches us to respect all people, to cele-brate their differences, to be guidedby a single ethic—service above self.Moral authority is primary greatness(character strengths); formal authorityis secondary greatness (position, wealth,talent, reputation, popularity).
Moral authority is a paradox.Authority is commonly defined interms of command, control, power,sway, rule, supremacy, domination,dominion, strength, might. The antonymis civility, servitude, weakness, and fol-lower. Moral authority (primary great-ness) is gaining influence by followingprinciples. Moral dominion is achieved
through service, sacrifice, and contri-bution. Power and moral supremacyemerge from humility, where thegreatest becomes the servant of all.
The top people of great organiza-tions are servant-leaders. They are themost humble, reverent, open, teach-able, respectful, and caring. Jim Collins,author of Built to Last and Good toGreat, notes: "The most powerfullytransformative executives (level-fiveleaders) possess a paradoxical mixtureof personal humility and professionalwill. They are timid and ferocious. Shyand fearless, rare—and unstoppable.Good-to-great transformations don'thappen without level-five leaders."
In Leading Beyond the Walls, JimCollins writes: "Leaders must definethe organization by reference to corevalues and purpose; build connectionand commitment rooted in freedom ofchoice, rather than coercion and control;and accept that the exercise of true lead-ership is inversely proportional to theexercise of power." When people withthe formal authority or position power(secondary greatness) refuse to usethat authority and power except as alast resort, their moral authority tendsto increase because they subordinatetheir ego and position power and usereasoning, persuasion, kindness,empathy, and trustworthiness instead.
When you borrow strength fromposition, you build weakness in your-self, because you are not developingmoral authority; in others, because theybecome codependent with your use offormal authority; and in the quality ofthe relationship, because authenticopermess and trust atrophy. Abra-ham Lincoln said, "The surest way toreveal one's character is not throughadversity but by giving them power."
Leaders with high moral authorityare often given formal authority—likeNelson Mandela, the father of the newSouth Africa. He once said, "At first,as a student, I wanted freedom onlyfor myself. But T then slowly saw thatnot orily was I not free, but my broth-ers and sisters were not free. That iswhen the hunger for my own freedombecame the greater hunger for the free-dom of my people. This desire for free-dom of my people to live their liveswith dignity and self-respect animatedmy life. I could not even enjoy the lim-ited freedoms I was allowed when Iknew my people were not free."
The inner drive to find your ownvoice and inspire others to find theirsis fueled by the purpose of servinghuman needs. Without meetinghuman needs, we don't expand our
freedom to choose. We grow more per-sonally when we give ourselves to oth-ers. Our relationships improve whentogether we serve some human need.
Leaders who have formal authorityand use it in principle-centered waysfind their influence increasing expo-nentially. Why does moral authorityexponentially increase the effectivenessof formal authority and power?Dependent people are super-sensitiveto either throwing one's weight aroundor the use of patience, kindness, gentle-ness, empathy, and gentle persuasion.Such character strength activates theconsciences and creates emotionalidenhfication with the leader and thecause or principles he or she stands for.Then when formal authority or posi-tional power is also used, people followfor the right reasons, out of genuinecommitment rather than out of fear.
This is the real key to leadership—combining high standards, strong val-ues, and consistent discipline withunconditional love, deep empathy, anda lot of fun. This is why the greatesttest of leadership—and the key to build-ing a healthy, nurturing culture—is howwe treat the ones who test us the most.In difficult times, we tend to revert backto the command-and-control model,because people fear for their security.But it will not optimize results.
As you expand your influence byinspiring others to find their voice, youincrease your freedom and power ofchoice to solve challenges and servehuman needs; you learn how leader-ship becomes a choice, not a position,so that leadership is widely distributed.While you manage or control things,you must lead people. You conqueryourself first by subordinating what youwant now for what you want later.
If you follow principles that alwayspoint north (like a compass), you developmoral authority; people trust you, and ifyou respect them, see their worth andpotential, and involve them, you can sharea common vision. If, through your moralauthority you earn formal audiority orposition, you can institutionalize theseprinciples, leading to more freedom andpower to expand your service. The leader-ship that inspires followership comes onlywhen you put service above self.
Organizations are only sustairiablewhen they ser\'e human needs. Serviceabove self is not about "what's in it forme," but about "what can I contribute?" LE
Shi'lieii R. Cave^ is i:o-foimdfr of FranklmCoivy aitd author ofThe 8th Habit (Fm- Press). Call SOJ-.577-9515 or visit u>mi\frankliiiaxiy.com.
ACTION: Engage in servant leadership.
PERFORMANCE • T E A M S
Team DysfunctionI d e n t i f y t h e c a u s e s a n d c u r e .
by Patrick Lencioni
IKE IT OR NOT, ALL
jteams are potentiallydysfunctional. This is
inevitable because they are made up offallible, imperfect human beings.Politics and confusion are more therule than the exception. However, fac-ing dysfunction and focusing on team-work is critical at the top because theexecutive team sets the tone for howall employees work with one another.
A former client, founder of a billion-dollar company, said, "If you could getall your people rovidng in the same direction, you coiild dominateany market, against anycompetition, any time."
Whenever I repeat thisadage, people nod theirheads, but in a desperatesort of way. They graspthe truth of it whilesurrendering to theimpossibility of actuallymaking it happen.
Fortunately, there is hope. The causesof dysfunction are identifiable and cur-able. However, they don't die easily.Making a team functional and cohesiverequires levels of courage and disciplinethat many groups cannot muster.
To better understand the level ofdysfunction you face, ask: Do teammembers openly and readily disclosetheir opinions? Are team meetingscompelling and productive? Does theteam come to decisions quickly andavoid getting bogged down by con-sensus? Do team members confrontone another about their shortcomings?Do team members sacrifice their owninterests for the good of the team?
Although even the best teams some-times struggle with these issues, thefinest leaders constantly work toensure that their answers are "yes."
Five DysfunctionsThe first step toward reducing politics
and confusion on your team is to add-ress the five dysfunctions one by one.
1. Absence of trust. This occurswhen team members are reluctant tobe vulnerable with one another and
admit their mistakes, weaknesses, orneed for help. Without a certain comfortlevel among team members, a founda-tion of trust is impossible.
2. Fear of conflict. Teams that lacktrust won't engage in unfiltered, pas-sionate debate about key issues, caus-ing situations where team conflict caneasily tum into veiled discussions andback-channel comments. Where teammembers do not openly air their opin-ions, inferior decisions result.
3. Lack of commitment. Withoutconflict, it is difficult for team membersto commit to decisions, creating anenvironment where ambiguity prevails.Lack of direction and commitment can
make people disgruntled.4. Avoidance of
accountability. Whenteams don't commit to aclear plan of action, eventhe most engaged individ-uals hesitate to call theirpeers on counterproduc-tive actions and behaviors.
5. Inattention toresults. Team men:\bers
tend to put their own needs (ego,career, recognition) ahead of the goalsof the team when individuals aren'theld accountable. If a team has lostsight of the need for achievement, thebusiness suffers.
Creating a functional, cohesive teamis one of the few remaining competi-tive advantages available to leaders.Functional teams avoid wasting timetalking about the wrong issues andrevisiting the same topics. They alsomake higher quality decisions andaccomplish more in less time and withless distraction and frustration.
Successful teamwork is aboutembracing common sense with uncom-mon discipline and persistence.Ironically, teams succeed because theyare exceedingly human. By acknowl-edging the imperfections of theirhumanity, members of functionalteams overcome the natural tendenciesthat make teamwork so elusive. LE
Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Croup and author ofOvercoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A FieldGuide for Leaders, Managers, and Faciiitalors (Wiley).Call 925-299-9700 or visit urww.tabkgrotip.com.
ACTION: Address your teams' dysfunctions.