“Servant” Leadership

I am a big fan of servant leadership, so I was quite interested in reading “The Motive” by Patrick Lencioni. This is his new book and it is about Leadership. According to Lencioni, all great leadership is servant leadership so it is time to drop the adjective: servant.

Like all of Lencioni’s books, it begins with a parable, then gets on to the lessons you can implement immediately. Are you reward centered in your leadership or responsibility centered? As he drills down on how to understand what may be getting in your way, it reminded me of something I have observed for 21 years of coaching — organizations tend to look like the leader. What you are good at, your organization excels at. What you aren’t good at, and we all have weaknesses, the organization stinks at. Lencioni takes that even further and teases out both the problem and the solution.

Of course it is the role of the Leader to set the vision and direction of the company. But then what?Here is what Lencioni says about the role of the CEO:

  1. Develop the Leadership Team
  2. Manage subordinates and make them manage theirs
  3. Have difficult and uncomfortable conversations
  4. Run great team meetings
  5. Communicate constantly and repetitively to employees

To quote him directly ” … these 5 areas … are not a list of the key responsibilities of the leader of an organization. These are simply the situations and responsibilities that leaders avoid all too often when they don’t see it as their job to do the things that no one else can.”

Way too often the leader does what the leader likes to do, not what is most important to move the organization forward. That is hard and uncomfortable work. So when you find yourself shying away from those things that are tough for you, ask yourself why? Take a look at Lencioni’s book for guidance.