I believe that leadership is about serving others while staying humble. Some may think this type of leadership is weak leadership. To that I say, if you consider humility and service a form of weakness, YOU are the problem. It takes more strength and self control to lead with humility and acts of service than it does to bark orders and demand obedience from others. Do not be fooled. Humility and service have been proven to be effective leadership qualities.
Leadership through service empowers others to take ownership of their actions and choices and provides a positive example to follow. Leaders who serve their team show that they are no better nor are they more important than their team. It means your title and position will not keep you from treating your people with respect and dignity. Service is about encouraging your team to perform better as you work alongside them. When leaders serve their team, their team is taken care of, communication is open and encouraged, and transparency and integrity lead the way for leadership.
Humility means you are willing to admit mistakes and be human around your team. Humility tells your team that you recognize that you will not always get it right, and when you don’t get it right, you will own it, make corrections and changes, and do your best to become better for the team and yourself. Humility encourages transparency and shows a willingness to lead with integrity. Pride comes before the fall. Humility takes pride out of the equation to ensure successful, effective leadership. When leadership leads with humility, the whole team benefits.
Service and humility are not a sign of weakness, but rather characteristics of strength. Servant leadership is the highest form of leadership one can attain. As I have stated in previous posts, leadership is not a title or position, but how one person treats another. The act of service says that the person you are leading is more important than yourself. Leaders who serve their team ensure their team is taken care of in all aspects. Their team has plenty of quality training, opportunities for growth, confidence to ask questions and raise concerns, the ability to have difficult conversations without the fear of retaliation or humiliation, and most importantly, the encouragement to take on leadership roles within the organization with supportive guidance. Servant leadership takes the leader out of the limelight and places each team member at the forefront.
We are called to lead courageously. Service and humility in leadership take tremendous courage. I implore you as a leader to consider how you lead, and if you are lacking service and/or humility, make a conscious effort to incorporate these characteristics into your leadership. Your job as a leader is to build up your team and train future leaders. To do this effectively, you must lead through humility and service.
As always, stay humble and serve well!