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If the Shoe Fits: Servant Leadership Wrap-up

by Miki Saxon

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mA couple of weeks ago we took a look at Jim Heskett’s HBS discussion about why servant leadership isn’t very prevalent, considering how effective it is; this week he sums those reasons up.

Servant leadership is experienced so rarely because of trends in the leadership environment, the scarcity of human qualities required, demands that the practice places on the practitioner, and the very nature of the practice itself.

It’s easy to spot the major traits that get in the way.

“Ego (that) makes it difficult to ‘want to serve'” (Randy Hoekstra), “greed” (Madeleine York), and “An unhealthy desire to control” (Judesther Marc).

There is more; ake a moment and read the summation, it’s short.

Next look at yourself in light of the expressed reasons preventing the spread of servant leadership.

Then look at your company’s culture and how well that culture fosters and recognizes those who practice servant leadership.

Now fix yourself, so you can become a model of servant leadership, and then fix whatever needs fixing in your culture so that that kind of leadership will naturally rise to the top of your organization.

A few thousand years ago a gentleman named Lao Tzu said it all quite elegantly in just 45 words.

As for the best leaders,
the people do not notice their existence.
The next best,
the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear;
and the next, the people hate—
When the best leader’s work is done,
the people say, “We did it ourselves!”

I can’t think of a better mantra to build your management around.

Image credit: HikingArtist

One Response to “If the Shoe Fits: Servant Leadership Wrap-up”
  1. MAPping Company Success Says:

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