Servant Leadership Produces Powerful Results Through Humble Application
by Wendy Beltzner,
Director, Leadership Development and Training Strategy
Manufacturing environments are unique. The focus for most is on production performance – how many error-free products we can get out the door on time. Although production is the lifeblood of the industry, there’s also been an awakening to something even more important: the approach of the leaders who are responsible for those results.
As a young child growing up in the home of two parents who worked in manufacturing, it wasn’t uncommon to overhear conversations about a foreman or supervisor whose treatment of their workers was less than stellar. Fortunately, traditional manufacturing’s command-and-control structure is being replaced by today’s servant leaders who understand there’s a better way to be successful.
Servant Leaders Aren’t Wimps
The sheer mention of “servant leader” might evoke an image of a leader in a butler’s uniform; rest assured, this leadership style isn’t about giving people what they want, rather it’s about meeting their legitimate needs – like being heard, valued, recognized, appreciated, and developed. Servant leadership is about changing the focus from market share and revenue growth to supporting those who support the customer, a concept known as the Service Profit Chain. When our internal customers (employees) are engaged and supported, it reflects in their work which ultimately lands at the feet of our customers who bring about the increases we desire.
Defining the Servant Leader
All leaders leave a mark, either positive or negative. When a leader demonstrates characteristics like patience, kindness, humility, respect, selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, and commitment, they create a positive sphere of influence that has a direct bearing on the amount of effort a team member puts into their work. Think about a previous leader you admired from your past. When you peel back the layers of their behaviors and characteristics, you’ll typically reveal the same found in a servant leader. Now reflect on your performance for that leader. Did you perform at your highest level because of WHO was asking? In almost 30 years of delivering servant leadership training, I never tire of hearing how people respond and perform when they are treated as if they matter and are valued. The investment of emotional intelligence provided by a servant leader is never lost, but instead driven straight to the bottom line.
Walking the Walk
If you seek personal fame and fortune, ego-stroking, management-of-the-month clubs or quick, easy fixes, servant leadership is not for you. However, if you seek optimal, authentic leadership for your organization, the most rewarding effort of your career, and sustainable results, then servant leadership is for you! Visit MRC’s Training Events Calendar to learn more about upcoming classes, workshops, and webinars.
*Servant leadership is not about letting the team run amuck or giving them what they want but rather giving them what they need.
*A servant leader is one who creates a positive sphere of influence that others are anxious to perform for at their highest levels.
*Servant leadership is a proven leadership strategy that provides a high yield to the bottom line.
About the Author
Manufacturers who seek an experienced, highly sought, training professional to assist in the design and delivery of interpersonal skills and leadership training for their staff, should contact Wendy Beltzner at (484) 356-6938 or email@example.com.