'Service, Not Status

Service, Not Status

April 3, 2024

 

Generally, when people talk about leaders, they are referring to people with a particular status or position. We have a different perspective.

Leadership is about service, not status. It’s not about the position you hold, but about the movement you create. Not about how important you are, but how influential you are in moving your team toward the goal.

The role of the leader is to help the team move toward the goal. This means that you can lead from anywhere in the organization. Direction most often comes from the top, but leadership can come from any level.

Servant leadership creates a work environment that makes employees at all levels feel respected, appreciated, and valued. Businesses that follow a servant leadership philosophy tend to have strong work cultures with high employee morale and engagement.

If you want to be a servant leader, do these things.

 

Lead by Example, Not by Edict

Servant leaders show their team what to do, rather than just telling them. As a servant leader, you should be willing to do any task you expect your employees to perform. By demonstrating your willingness to match their effort, you motivate your team to engage in the work and contribute to the group effort.

 

Show People They Matter

Effective servant leaders care about their co-workers as people first and workers second. They understand that when their team feels happy and fulfilled in their personal lives, it contributes to success in their professional lives.

Servant leaders value others’ perspectives and approach situations with an open mind. Because of this, they prioritize showing team members they care about them and are willing to help with personal issues when they can. People who know that their well-being is important tend to be more committed to the organization than those who think that they are just cogs in the wheel.

 

Demonstrate That All Work is Important

When team members know that what they do is essential for meeting the goal, they feel significant and will work hard to contribute to the team’s achievements. Encouraging collaboration and cooperation motivates team members to be reliable, consistent, and committed to quality work.

 

Listen More Than You Speak

Effective servant leaders listen to what their team has to say. They make certain that all members are heard, listen carefully to what is being said, and make certain that all points of view are represented and understood.

They give others their full attention, notice coworkers’ nonverbal cues, avoid interrupting them when speaking, and give constructive feedback.

 

Maintain a Growth Mindset

Finally, servant leaders should always be working to improve their own leadership and contribute to their team. Encourage your team members to provide feedback when they have an idea to improve workflow or help the company succeed. Try to encourage your team members to make suggestions and explore options, rather than being stuck in the way things have always been.

 

We encourage our clients to embrace the spirit of servant leadership. When they do, they discover that they benefit as much as their organizations do.

You are already a leader. Are you ready to serve?

 

Blessings,

Chris Ann Williams, CEO

'Persistence

Persistence

March 20, 2024

 

We’ve noticed something that sets our most successful customers apart from those who are not getting the results they want.

They’re not born with some magical success gene. They haven’t won the lottery. They haven’t magically avoided every possible barrier and pitfall that could stand in the way of their success.

So, what’s the secret?

It’s their mindset.

When we start the coaching process, it doesn’t take very long before resistance raises its head. That’s natural…it’s part of the change process. It’s what you do when resistance arises that makes all the difference.

People with a persistence or growth mindset see resistance as a signal to keep moving, while people with a resistance or fixed mindset view resistance as a stop sign, leaving them stuck short of their goal.

Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

It’s easy to see that kind of persistence as Spring bursts into bloom. The baby chicks are pecking their way out of their shells and the blooms are beginning to peek out of the tight buds that they have been locked in through the winter.

So, what does a growth mindset look like? Here are six things that separate the persisters from the resisters.

  • A clear and compelling vision – A vision that is clear and specific is much easier to commit to than one that is murky or vague. People with a growth mindset have a specific picture of their end goal and they focus their vision on that target, rather than on the things that get in the way.
  • A fiery passion – People who persist have a “fire in the belly” that keeps them going past false starts, dead ends, and short-term failures.
  • Belief in themselves – Successful people trust themselves and have faith in their ultimate success. They pay closer attention to their own internal dialogue than to the noise around them.
  • Adaptability – Persistence requires flexibility and a willingness to make changes if the first attempt falls short. Persistent people are more invested in the goal than in the path.
  • Curiosity and continuous learning – Approaching events with curiosity and a willingness to keep learning helps to expand the range of tools and skills available to move you toward the goal.
  • A habit of self-discipline and self-improvement – Almost all successful people have a daily routine of consistent habits that support them in maintaining the physical, emotional, and spiritual practices that contribute to their success.

It’s easy to be in a growth mindset at the beginning of a new project or when things are going well. What sets the truly persistent apart is that they maintain that positive mindset when things get tough and no matter how long it takes.

Are you ready for more growth in your business? Adopt a persistence mindset and get ready for success!

Blessings,

Chris Ann Williams
CEO

'Muddle in the Middle

Muddle in the Middle

March 12, 2024

 

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times. “It isn’t fair.” “Why can’t I do this?” “Why can’t I have that?”

No, I am not talking about being a parent sorting out an argument between your kids, although it can sometimes feel like that. I’m talking about being a manager and feeling caught in the middle.

Whether you think of it as being in the hot seat or as having to straddle the fence, as a manager, you are often called on to find the compromise, sweet spot, or middle ground between two competing priorities – between an unhappy customer and your company (or the employee with whom the customer has an issue), between two departments, teams, or individuals under your supervision, or between line staff and executive leadership.

All eyes are on you to make it right. And to do it by determining who wins.

But that won’t work. Here’s what to do instead.

Become a mediator, not an arbitrator.

Follow these tips to sort out the muddle in the middle.

  • Stay Neutral – As the mediator in a conflict, the manager must stay neutral while a solution is being sorted out. Make it clear to both parties that your alliance is to a good solution, not to one point of view or the other.
  • Set Expectations – Make it clear that a win-win situation is the goal. That means that compromises will be made. It’s likely that neither party will get 100% of what they want, but both parties should come out with a reasonable percentage of what they need.

State at the beginning that you expect both sides to stay in negotiation until a solution is reached. “Taking your marbles and going home,” is a last resort and should not be used as a tactic to gain leverage or assert authority.

  • Establish Boundaries – Set limits on how much time you’ll invest in a resolution. Make it clear that kindness and courtesy will be maintained, even in the face of anger or disappointment.
  • Lead from Values – Your company likely has established a set of core values. You have personal values that guide your behavior and decision-making. Each person or side involved in a conflict also has values that they bring to the table.

Frame the discussion and the solution in terms of what is most consistent and congruent with the values that are at play. Find the places where values coincide and where they differ and explore whether there is a solution that can be found by incorporating the consistent values, rather than prioritizing places where values conflict.

  • Secure Agreement – Start a mediating discussion with an agreement that both parties will abide by the shared solution. You are not a judge who will hand down a verdict or a referee who declares a winner. You are a diplomat who works to create a peace treaty between conflicting parties. Your role is to keep the parties in the discussion until you can find a solution that both parties can agree on.

As a manager, it’s your job to keep the chaos contained while keeping things moving forward. You can’t avoid ending up in the middle. But you can make the middle a positive place, where everyone wins – at least a little — rather than a messy, uncomfortable situation for both sides.

When you see yourself as a mediator, rather than a referee, you can keep the middle from becoming a muddle for all concerned.

That way, everyone benefits.

Blessings,

Chris Ann Williams, CEO