Should we or should we not serve … that is the question … well, it is one of many questions that should be asked. The idea of servant leadership is to serve those they lead. So why don’t we do this more and serve those that we lead rather than manage those that we lead? There are a few factors that we, as project practitioners, need to take on board to make this a reality
Become a transformational leader
Rather than act in a certain way in order to gain the trust and avoid the pitfalls of human nature, why don’t we tap into the needs and values of people and inspire them with new possibilities that raises confidence, conviction and desire to achieve a common, moral, motivating purpose. This is commonly referred to as a ‘transformational leader’ and is an core element of servant leadership
Is this a risky method of leadership … of course it is but the value and result is one of empowerment rather than management. Is this worth doing … well, that is based on the 3 characteristics of leadership: –
- Your Environment will support transformational leadership?
- Your People will respond to transformational leadership?
- You will Embrace transformational leadership?
Create the Vision for Others
To be a servant leader, there must be a direction for people to follow. Does lack of vision mean lack of leadership? Is it because we lack vision? The reason is not because we don’t have a vision, it is because the vision is cosmetic and not focused on those we lead. The vision needs to be exciting, adapted and most importantly it can be connected with. If not, we become a ‘transactional transformational leader’ in a management world. Yes this is a sentence full of words, but what it means is that we may talk the talk but not walk it.
Hear about the other factors that constitute Servant Leadership for Project and Programme Managers in my workshops
Submitted by Liam Dillon, SQT Project Management tutor