Leader as Servant
By identity on Mar 08, 2007
In his book, "Authentic Leadership," Bill George refers to the late Robert Greenleaf, a former AT&T executive well known for his concept of "leaders as servants of the people." Describing this concept, Mr. George says, "he advocates service to others as the leader's primary purpose. If people feel you are genuinely interested in serving others, then they will be prepared not just to follow you but to dedicate themselves to the common cause."
I was introduced to this concept several years ago by Steve Sanghi, CEO of Microchip. He recommended that organization charts be inverted from the norm, to show the leader at the bottom, symbolically showing that the leaders's job is to support and help the people in his organization.
I like to start each business day by asking myself the question, "How can I best serve and deliver value to my employees, my employer and my customers today?"
Answering that question helps me to focus on what is really important in my role as a manager and employee - servant of the people within the span of my stewardship.