5 Strategic Ways Great Leaders Serve

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.

Great Leaders…
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.
 

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Rob Gunter

8 years ago

For the last year and a half, I’ve been using the SERVE model in trainings with our hourly leaders and have been very pleased with the results. I will be taking it to middle and upper management over the next few months. However, I’m curious as to how you would tie accountability into the model. I can see it relating to valuing results and relationships and the inherent tension you mention in your post. For example, I could see a leader approaching a manager with these two perspectives: I’m here to come along side you (serve you) and help you be successful yet these are the results expected and if you’re not able to deliver on them then I will replace you with someone who can. My question is: how would you suggest serving those that report to you while also holding them accountable to the results? Thanks again Mark!

mark

7 years ago

Rob, thanks for your question. I just found your comment in my WordPress folder. Sorry I didn’t respond months ago! Here’s a quick answer to a big question… I think servant leaders DO serve those they lead. However, the service to the people is secondary to the vision. Once the vision/mission is clear, people do have an option – follow or not. What’s not in question is the vision. Some will not make the journey. The best leaders understand this. Serving and providing accountability are not at odds. My advice is to make expectations clear and then give the gift of accountability. Let’s talk soon! Mark

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