Servant Leadership


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

-Abraham Lincoln

Servant Leadership 

Our late June communication identified the problem with many managers in today’s workforce- their motivation to be managers is to satisfy their own egos rather than to serve their people.  This one, then, continues that discussion by recognizing those things great managers do to exemplify the principle of “servant leadership”.

  • They ask their direct reports “What can I do for you” far more often than “What can you do for me”. They understand their duty is to remove obstacles and help solve the problems that get in the way of their people.
  • They connect with their direct reports as unique individuals, investing in their development and showing they care about them.
  • They engage their direct reports in problem solving- teaching them to solve problems rather than always giving them the answers.
  • They are transparent and venerable- truthful in their communication and speaking up to admit when they’re wrong.
  • They lead by example and don’t ask their direct reports to do anything they don’t do themselves.  Great managers take the time to walk a mile (or two, three or four) in their employees shoes to stay relatable to the work.
  • “Employees respect when management inspects what it expects.”  Great managers know it’s difficult to hit a moving target, so they are clear in their expectations of others and reinforce the good behaviors with accolades.

Culture Building Tip

Watch carefully the way your managers lead. Are they embodying these principles, or flying in the face of them to feed their own egos? Not sure? Ask any employee, “what is it about Bob that makes him a good leader?”.

I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person.

-Mark Zuckerberg,

CEO of Facebook

That’s our spark, what’s yours?