Power and authority have a bad connotation. Because of that many people shy away from taking charge at work. But what about servant leadership – being in charge as a way to be of tremendous service to people. It’s not a concept I created but one I’m educating my clients and radio listeners about.
Just last week, I had leadership experts Gail Steinel and Mike Policano on"Making a Living with Maggie" talking about their book, Excuse Me, Aren’t YOU in Charge? These two are not just theorists. Gail in fact was a pioneer for women leadership in the consulting industry, recognized twice by Consulting Magazine as a Top 25 Consultant. I experienced Gail’s leadership firsthand – when she was head of Arthur Andersen’s Business Consulting Practice where I was an employee.
Here’s what I learned from Gail about being a great leader:
—Be accessible. – Gail is the type of leader who remembered your name and would stop and talk to you in the hallway. She was never too busy to make time for her employees.
—Support your people’s ideas and passions. – In their book, Gail mentions one particular leadership experience that stuck with me – where she supported an employee who wanted to build a new recruiting strategy. Gail encouraged the employee to get involved and the young woman ended up winning an employee-of-the-year award.
—Be honest. – I saw Gail lead during Andersen’s best times and it’s demise with the Enron debacle. She was always upfront with honest answers and I always felt I could trust her. For leaders today this is perhaps the biggest lesson – be someone your people can really trust and your best employees will always stick with you.
Find out more about leadership 101 on Gail and Mike’s blog! And share your greatest leadership moments here – what’s the best quality you’ve seen in a leader? Do you consider yourself to be a servant leader?