Leading is Serving
Servant Leadership “. . . is an approach. . . that emphasizes the leader’s role as steward of the resources provided in an organization (and) encourages leaders to serve others . . .”
We hear about “Servant Leadership” at District and TMI events and are encouraged to be “Servant Leaders” in our meeting roles and club officer duties. Sometimes we wonder what a Servant leader looks like – or does – that identifies her approach to leadership.
Listening; he listens to what is being said (and not said).
Commitment to the Growth of People; Servant-leaders are deeply committed to the personal, professional, and spiritual growth of each individual within the organization. This is shown by the decisions they make and by what they do – lip service doesn’t count.
Service Before Self Interest – A servant leader’s reward is the success of the team.
Confidence in Others
Inspires Trust by Being Trustworthy
Lends a Hand – She’s willing to do the work she asks others to do.
Applying servant leadership to Toastmasters, leaders give priority status to:
Goals of the Members – Members’ educational and Leadership goals, such as Competent Communicator and Advanced Leader Bronze, drive her decisions about project and meeting-role assignments.
Goals of the Members – Mentoring – He ensures that new members know who, exactly, to contact and assigns mentors to help new members develop confidence and competence as fast as they want.
Goals of the Members – Awards and Recognition — Ensures that club ceremonies celebrate each member’s accomplishment. She persists in her attempts to get District and TMI recognition as soon as members qualify.
Goals of the Members – Beyond the Comfort Zone — He encourages members to participate in educational programs and meetings, such as L.A.C.E., to compete in Area and Division speech contests and encourages officers to attend and vote at governing body events such as the District Executive Committee meeting.
(Lance Miller, a past World Champion of Public Speaking, insists that the purpose of competing should not be to “win the contest”, but to be better than you were in the past.)
When led by an effective leader, club members achieve their goals, which power the club toward its goals (such as a Distinguished Club designation).
Charisma and persona vary, but the basics of good leadership remain. General George Patton and Coach Vince Lombardi were not known for being “warm and fuzzy” leaders yet they met the criteria we’ve discussed for servant leaders – and they were both certainly effective.
To answer the question posed earlier, all good Leaders look like leaders, act like leaders, and accomplish like leaders. Being a Servant Leader is one approach to being a good leader – a very effective approach.