Lead by Serving

Asked to describe the role of their supervisor, many employees will say, “He tells me what to do.”

This is a symptom of top-down management, in which employees are tightly controlled by management. People who stray from management’s rigid agenda are considered dangerous, and either removed or counseled by Human Resources.

Often, this management style leads to turf wars and toxic internal politics. Productivity can be decreased by 30%, or more.

This condition is not only costly, it’s unnecessary.  In most organizations, well-trained employees already know what to do; in fact, they usually know their jobs better than management does.

So instead of controlling employees, serve them. View your job as a service to support your employees to reach their goals.

Research has found that Managers who serve their employees provide them with a strong sense of recognition, independence, and job satisfaction, resulting in an overall higher performance of the organization they belong to.

Here are three ways you can serve your employees every day:

  • Coaching

Mentor your staff, drawing on your experience and providing personalized training when needed.

  • Bridging

Provide connections and introductions to other staff and resources who can help them get the job done.

  • Facilitation

Think of this as “running interference.” When your team encounters obstacles, break down barriers to their success.

Servant managers help employees fill gaps, smooth over problems, and break through walls. With this kind of support, employees are more successful and fulfilled.  And as a result, so are you.

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