During our research of great leaders, we found that not only did these leaders serve, they did so in five strategic ways. Ken Blanchard and I wrote a book about them entitled, The Secret – What Great Leaders Know and Do. Here are the five practices we discovered.
See the Future – Leadership is about taking people somewhere. Leaders have the opportunity to help people see a picture of that preferred future. Leaders must see it before they can rally people to pursue it.
Engage and Develop Others – Leaders determine who they’ll recruit and select for the journey. Then they must create the environment that brings out the best in those on the team. And, the best leaders never forget to help others grow and develop along the way.
Reinvent Continuously – Leaders know that progress is always preceded by change. They are focused on making themselves better, the systems better and they willingly change the structure as needed so that it never becomes an impediment to their progress. Leaders create change.
Value Results and Relationships – The best leaders understand the inherent tension between results and relationships. They manage that tension. They have a broader definition of success: performance and people. They unleash tremendous power when they find a way to value BOTH results and relationships.
Embody the Values – Effective leaders walk the talk. They align their actions with their intentions. They live like they believe the things they are saying. All of this establishes trust and credibility. It also has a tremendous impact on the culture the leader is trying to create.
These five practices of the SERVE model will be the topic of future posts. Until then, here’s a free assessment that may help you as you explore the application of the SERVE practices in your own setting.