Black MBA - Fall 2014 - (Page 12)

The Art of Leadership The servanT leader The Servant Leader Today's go-to leadership concept may be from the 1970s, but it's all about modern success. All about how you become a servant leader and why you want to be one. by robin Farmer M ention servant leadership in some business circles and a common misconception is that leaders meeting the needs of others - rather than focusing on personal power, wealth and fame - are "soft." That misimpression partly stems from the name itself, which was coined in 1970 by Robert Greenleaf, the originator of the modern-era concept and founder of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, an Indiana-based non-profit that promotes education about and implementation of servant leadership. Black MBA | "Servant leadership is misconstrued in the marketplace sometimes because of the term used to describe it," says Edward D. Hess, professor of business administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. "It's really being open, honest, trusting and helping people to develop into being all they can be, and [in return] they help leaders accomplish objectives. But it is not soft, it is high standards. Look at UPS; it was a servant leader company for over 100 years...and no one would call UPS soft." 12 Hess credits his colleague, Alex Horniman, with inventing a shorthand description of how servant leaders operate around employees and customers. "He calls it the three I's, which stand for I invite, include and inspire." Research led by Adam Grant, Wharton's youngest tenured professor and author of the bestseller Give and Take, found that by focusing on helping others develop and grow, servant leaders not only cultivate highly-engaged and prolific employees committed to the company's mission, their selfless actions make them even more productive and effective. In other words, greedy takers move over; being a giver leads to success, too. With businesses slowly emerging from a period where a lot of people put themselves first, anecdotal evidence exists that interest in servant leadership is growing as companies try to change course. "I do think the servant leadership movement is gaining momentum," says Susan Steinbrecher, business consultant, executive coach and co-author of Heart-Centered Leadership: Lead Well, Live Well. "Many leaders, especially those in the Baby Boomer generation, are looking for more personally fulfilling roles, ones that will make a real difference in other people's lives," says Steinbrecher, whose book explores seven principles to adopt to become a servant leader. So what must servant leaders do on a daily basis to maximize their effectiveness while helping to create success for those around them? How do you join their ranks? the roAd to serVANt leAdership The journey to becoming a servant leader starts with investing time in examining your attitudes and beliefs about leading, says Hess. Start with what you believe is the role of a leader. Is it to tell people what to do? Then you will be a very different leader. "If you believe your role is to help people be all that they can be, and be part of something special and build a high-performance organization, business, church, charity or must think about what is leadership, why you want to lead and who are the followers. Many leaders believe they are better than the followers and that sets up a hierarchical relationship. Some people look down at employees, so be real honest."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Black MBA - Fall 2014

From the NBMBAA® Board Chair
From the President & CEO
The Servant Leader
Leading the Way: Erika James
Winning in the Era of the Rising Freelancer

Black MBA - Fall 2014