Servant Leadership – Part 2
In the first part of this series we looked at the challenges facing many leadership styles. Servant leadership offers an alternative but seems counter-intuitive to the demands of a high-performing team.
In this part we consider how the role of a conductor models the characteristics of a servant leader.
A Confident, Engaged and Empowering Leader
A conductor is the perfect picture of a confident, engaged and empowering servant leader. Their team is the orchestra. The conductor cannot do what the players can do. But her job is to do what only she can do to keep the musicians on track and bring out the best in them at all times.
She is an expert in her field. She must know the piece of music intrinsically. Have an overview of every player and their place in the piece. So that she can bring them together as a whole and produce a world-class performance.
If she is too domineering, the players feel mis-understood, de-valued, and dis-empowered. If she is too sensitive, the players lack direction, the music is left to their interpretation, and the whole orchestra will begin to play as each individual sees fit. Either way, the players can lose focus, start to doubt the value of what they do, and the performance can fall to pieces.
Servant Leadership Is About The Success Of The Team
Susan Cain – author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – wrote in the NY Times recently that we have emptied leadership of all meaning in our attempt to exalt a particular style of leadership above all others.
Servant leadership is a more intelligent, in-tune, practice. Whatever your style, it allows for leadership in any format. Because it’s about the success of the team, rather than one individual.
Servant leadership is about learning how to facilitate that success so that everyone is engaged and empowered to achieve it. It’s about the whole team crossing the finish line. As the saying goes –
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Your Team’s Best Performance
Too often we picture leadership as forceful, fast-moving and friendless but it doesn’t have to be this way. Taking the time to invest in yourself will make you a more effective leader. A confident, engaged and empowering approach will bring out the best performance in your team.
Good leaders make decisions with the team’s best interests in mind ensuring that everyone has the resources and knowledge they need to meet their objectives. Failing to adequately provide for the team leads to unrealistic expectations and can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Become A Servant Leader
We’ve helped individuals in organisations large and small to become more confident, engaged and empowered in what they do. As a result they are able to perform at their highest levels and enable others to do the same. How can we help you?