Changing Your Leadership Perspective

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I recently read a wonderful blog about a young mother looking at the sky with her much shorter 3-year-old. She realized she couldn’t see the double rainbow he saw until she scrunched down to her child’s height — then a whole new perspective opened up to her.  

In this case, the mother chose to take a lowly position to see the full picture.  It’s rather like choosing to be a servant leader.  By choosing to be a “servant” in our leadership we are choosing that lowly position in our mindset.  We choose to think of others before ourselves.  We provide for them before our own needs.  The benefits of leading in this way have been experienced by many companies like Southwest Airlines, Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken, and Datron World Communications.   I know through personal experience and years of observation that servant leadership is a better way to lead and influence people. But, I want to take a look at what is gained by taking that “lowly” position as a servant leader, no matter what your title is, even CEO.  

What do you gain by taking the servant’s position? Seeing things as a servant leader brings:

  1. The realization you don’t know it all. Servant leaders are lifelong learners and are willing to consider new ideas that might better serve their people.
  2. The desire to lead differently than you have in the past. On the road to leading as a servant, you know what doesn’t work and you become willing to consider new possibilities. 
  3. An understanding there’s more to life than what appears on the surface. Because servant leaders are dealing with matters of the heart as well as skills and results, their awareness expands.
  4. Awareness that your perspective could be inaccurate. Servant leadership involves thinking about your thinking, so you begin to reflect and consider that you might be seeing things inaccurately.
  5. An eagerness to see something new in people. As you become more relational with people, you want to know more about them — their strengths, weaknesses and dreams. You want to see the whole person and how he or she adds value.

As a servant leader, you have the opportunity to take the organizational pyramid and flip it upside down releasing the people you lead to perform at new heights.  The insights you gain from taking that “lower” position in your mentality will equip you to become a leader worth following.