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Servant Leadership


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These are slides I use when helping people become familiar with the concepts of Servant Leadership.

Published in: Business, Technology

Servant Leadership

  1. 1. Servant Leadership "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -- John Quincy Adams
  2. 2. Exercise Over the next 4 minutes, perform the following: • Think of a time when a boss came along and took over the decision or task that you were doing • Write down – – How did you feel? – What impact did it have on your work? • Now do the same thinking of a time when your boss gave you freedom of authority on the decision or task, but perhaps removed issues in your way. Answer the same two questions.
  3. 3. Manager /ˈmanijər/ Noun 1. A person responsible for controlling or administering all or part of a company or similar organization: "the sales manager". 2. A person who controls the activities, business dealings, and other aspects of the career of an entertainer, athlete, group of musicians,... Synonyms: director - administrator - superintendent - principal contrast this to…
  4. 4. Leader /ˈlēdər/ Noun 1. The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. 2. A person followed by others. Synonyms: chief - head - conductor - guide - captain
  5. 5. Illusion of Control Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline
  6. 6. Accomplishing Things as a Leader is Getting Things Done through Others
  7. 7. Essentially Harnessing Passion
  8. 8. "The most valuable "currency" of any organization is the initiative and creativity of its members. Every leader has the solemn moral responsibility to develop these to the maximum in all his people. This is the leader's highest priority." --W. Edwards Deming
  9. 9. Lessons from Organizational Development & Psychology • Our ‘Others’ Are Knowledge Workers1 – Knowledge work consists of non-routine decision- making; combination of convergent, divergent, and creative thinking2 – Examples: architects, engineers, lawyers, scientists, and software engineers3 • Routine decisions/labor can be motivated in carrot & stick methods, but creative work is motivated through Autonomy, Mastery, & Purpose4 1 Peter Drucker, The Landmarks of Tomorrow 2 Reinhardt et al, Knowledge and Process Management 3 Thomas Davenport, Thinking for a Living 4 Daniel Pink, Drive, reflecting on learning from MIT studies
  10. 10. So if Passion comes from Autonomy, Mastery, & Purpose… …how do we accomplish things through others? By aligning direction… …through clear, shared vision and… …helping them achieve in that direction. This is the crucial set of elements for the Servant Leader.
  11. 11. What is Servant Leadership? “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve…. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive… The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.” – Robert Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader
  12. 12. The Servant Leader Leadership Authority Service Will Will = Intentions + Actions^ ^ What I Say What I Do James Hunter, The Servant
  13. 13. Leadership Prime Directive: Absolute Integrity Leadership is a trust. Intentions must match Actions. William Cohen, Stuff of Heroes blog
  14. 14. So Ask Yourself… • How many times have you heard “my door is open, I want to hear your issues” only to NOT see any offer of support or help to those that brought the issues to them… – They are undermining their will  service connection, which undermines their authority – End result: they can only direct people and hope they do what is said in the way that they mean
  15. 15. Servant Leadership is Essential to Scrum Scrum Master is present to – – Maintain Team Focus – “what is the most important thing we should be doing?” – Facilitate Discussions – powerful questions – Remove Impediments – what is in our way?
  16. 16. Agile is built w/ Servant Leadership 5th Principle “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”
  17. 17. Trust  Delegation Some Scenarios to make this more ‘real’; for the following scenarios: • Select your comfort level in delegating the need or issue; you may keep this to yourself. • With that in mind, what are some things you can do to help serve those you are entrusting to do the work? Delegation Poker by Jurgen Appelo
  18. 18. The Budget Crater An inquiry has asked “what will be the impact on project X if their budget has to be cut by 25%?” This project is under your purview.
  19. 19. Yet Another Release Planning Review A project manager has just returned from their RPR and reports that she failed getting it passed when she presented to the CIO.
  20. 20. The Crash A crash recently occurred on a high profile application and it is now not available. As a manager, you just became aware of this when this application’s primary customer called you.
  21. 21. What Does a Servant Leader Do? The following guides can help you hold back from natural tendencies to step in… • Build in team learning  give teams time* • Facilitate thinking, but don’t provide “the answer”* • Act as a networker to connect people with knowledge that can help • Help in prioritizing the use of common “pools” of talent or resources that could become overburdened if not proactively observed* • Research ways to make the organizational “system” work faster | operate more reliably | produce better outputs • Shield the team from harmful or distractive dynamics *Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline Manage the System
  22. 22. PerceptionsofLeadershipEffectiveness  Level of Disruption Jumping into Team to Help Resolve Issue Supporting Team to Help Resolve Issue • Analyzing • Direct Help • Mentoring • Preparation Frederick P. Morgeson,2005, “The External Leadership of Self-Managing Teams: Intervening in the Context of Novel and Disruptive Events” Leadership Intervention in Self-Managed Teams
  23. 23. Reflective Exercise For the next 3 minutes, write down something you have done recently that may have • removed authority from another, • where your intentions and actions didn’t match, - OR - • where you could have facilitated arriving at a solution rather than directed an outcome Also write what you could have done differently. Keep this to yourself, but place it nearby on your desk for a week as a reminder of how things could have been.
  24. 24. “There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being -- to help someone succeed." --Alan Loy McGinnis