Everyone Thrives Through Servant Leadership

As you build a cache of leadership strategies, servant leadership is one of the most effective approaches you can use to keep your team fully engaged and amazingly productive.

What Servant Leadership Means

Put simply, it’s putting the concerns of others, particularly those of your team members, before your own.

According to the site MindTools.com, servant leadership means acknowledging others’ viewpoints, giving them what they need to meet their professional and personal objectives, and prioritizing the construction of a sense of community within your team. All of these activities lead to greater trust which itself leads to stronger relationships, higher engagement, and greater productivity and creativity.

Adopting an approach of servant leadership also requires dedication, says David Lee on the site TLNT. Thinking of others first is no easy task, especially when we have tunnel vision about our own goals and endless to-do lists. While ‘What’s in it for me?’ might be a common question abounding in heads across corporations everywhere, this is also the type of thinking that contributes hugely to “the abysmal employee engagement levels that plague many teams around the globe.”

So how do you start making the shift? In addition to the tips below, we at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) can also provide you with tools to learn and practice a variety of effective servant leadership methods.

How To Practice Servant Leadership

Here’s are three suggestions (from David Lee) for putting Servant Leadership into action.

  1. Remember that what you put out is what comes back to you from others.
  2. When you see people performing well, compliment them so they know you saw it and appreciate it.
  3. Remember that your efforts will comes back to you again and again through a cohesive, highly productive team.

“Your role is to lift up your employees and help them to joyfully achieve their goals so they can thrive. When they succeed, you succeed, and the whole organization succeeds. It’s a thing of beauty,” says Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, defining his view of servant leadership in a recent Inc.com article.

Keep It In Perspective

Paying attention to other people’s needs, however, does not mean sparing their feelings. The Mindtools site suggests not avoiding making unpopular decisions or giving team members tips for improvement when this is needed. After all, even uncomfortable feelings can set the stage for our growth and, therefore, employee engagement and productivity.

Servant leadership is just one of many leadership tactics that can keep your team working at optimum levels while also keeping them happy and excited to do so.

 

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, such as practicing servant leadership? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. It’s free and with no strings attached.

Image courtesy of samuiblue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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How Losing Can Actually Help You Succeed

If we are given a choice between winning and losing in any aspect of life, most of us would want to be winners. It makes us feel good about ourselves, whether we’ve won through hard work or were lucky enough to have chosen the right lottery numbers.

Yet, there is valuable growth and learning that can come from losing—particularly in the business arena—if we can shift our view to see it. In a world where winning has become the way to measure success, this can be tricky.

A Learned Skill

A new mindset on losing is that it’s not simply about being a good loser, although that’s also important. According to business strategist, motivational speaker, and author Dan Waldschmidt, “You’ll never be the best at whatever you want to achieve until you learn how to lose with skill.”

You won’t necessarily enjoy losing, says Waldschmidt, but it’s part of what can make you great. “The lessons you learn from losing against a competitor who’s better than you are incomparably more valuable than the lessons you might learn from beating a competitor you’ve already beaten time and time again.”

Losing helps you “develop the talent, skills, and experience you need to win,” states Waldschmidt, and he advises people to both lose with skill and then find the people or resources that can make you stronger and bring you wins in the future.

In general, we at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) are all about helping you learn so you can experience more and more wins. Please contact us if we can help you in any way on your journey.

A Natural Outcome Of Competition

There’s a saying about gambling: You can’t win if you don’t play. By extension, you can’t lose either. You just sit on the sidelines as an observer, achieving nothing. If you’re going to compete, there’s the chance you will lose, but that’s part of living an ultimately fulfilling life of both successes and failures.

It’s all about your mindset, says a recent article on Success.org. The author states, “Competition is far better for the loser in my estimation than the winner, given the correct mindset. What is the correct mindset? Losing is temporary. Just like winning is and just like life is. In the context of time we can appreciate the ephemeral nature of any loss and find the lesson.

Losses have the ability to beat you down or fire you up, according to the article, and you get to decide which way it will affect you. It’s often the people who’ve experienced (and learned from) loss and humiliation that become more consistent winners.

A Stronger Connection With Others

Tim Leberecht, founder of Leberecht & Partners and author of the book The Business Romantic, writes on Ideas.Ted.com that, “We ought not to view the professional defeat or the personal loss as just a bump on the road, but embrace the fact that losing is the very basis of our shared humanity.”

Everyone loses, and being able to share both the pain and the growth of our losses makes us more approachable to others who are also struggling to learn from their losses.

So, the next time you lose, congratulate yourself on having the courage to compete and remember that losing is far from failure—it’s merely a different path to success.

 

Looking for a way to practice expanding your leadership capabilities, including shifting your mindset on losing, in small yet bold ways? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. It’s free and with no strings attached.

 

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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To Lead Well, Continually Build Trust In Your Leadership

Strong leadership is defined by a variety of traits, but perhaps the most critical quality for a leader’s success is being trusted by the people you manage.

How a leader communicates can go a long way toward building trust—or destroying it. A recent article by business author Gwen Moran on FastCompany.com shares five ways that leaders may be damaging their credibility, on purpose or without realizing it, by how they connect with their teams.

Here’s an overview of what Moran presents as concrete communication methods to build and maintain the trust of your team.

  • Set Aside Your Agenda – Building trust is not about advancing your own agenda or downplaying difficult issues at the cost of truth. For example, your team probably has a good idea that there’s downsizing in the future, so tell them what you know and that you’ll share more as you learn more. Then be sure to do it.
  • Offer An Authentic Apology – If you’re in the wrong, offer a genuine apology for what you did. “In addition, in corporate context, the apology includes an agreement or a statement about what the organization or the individual is going to do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again or to address the wrong,” says Moran.
  • Accept Responsibility With No Finger-Pointing – Moran cites communication coach Kate Bennis who says that “publicly making someone else a scapegoat is just going to make people wonder about how much you can be trusted.”
  • Skip The “Non-Denial Denial” – Put more simply, tell the truth from the outset and “try to emphasize the positive or a solution,” says Michael Maslansky, CEO of Maslansky + Partners. “You may say that you’re exploring options and give a concrete timeline when employees can expect more answers.” Being ambiguous or offering half-truths will only come back to bite you (and your credibility) in the long run.
  • Answer Questions Directly – Leadership communication expert and author Terry Pearce states that when leaders “ignore context and dismiss their responsibility to be truthful, their credibility is at risk.” How cleverly you can answer a question without really answering it is not a criterion for effective leadership, and it certainly won’t make folks trust you. As an old adage goes, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.”

 

We at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) are well versed in helping leaders develop these, and many other, effective communication skills that will increase your credibility as a leader.

As a leader, if you manage the high-level issues and honestly share relevant information with your team as needed, they will be confident that you’re looking after their interests and will likely perform better because of it.

 

Looking for a way to practice expanding your leadership capabilities, such as improving credibility with your team, in small yet bold ways? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. It’s free and with no strings attached.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Intellectual Humility And Leadership

Intellectual Humility Can Make You A More Effective Leader

Most of us have been taught to stand firm in our convictions and rigorously defend them when required. Somewhere along the line, this stance became equated with the ability to make good decisions and provide effective leadership.

However, recent studies by Duke University are showing that “my way or the highway” leadership tactics aren’t always the best choice. The ability to be humble, what scientists term intellectual humility, actually helps you to make wiser decisions and to be a valuable, sought-after leader.

Research On Intellectual Humility

The Duke study, run by professor of psychology and neuroscience Mark Leary, defines intellectual humility as “opposite of intellectual arrogance or conceit,” and that “it resembles open-mindedness.” Researchers also found this trait to be non-partisan, showing up in liberals, non-liberals, religious and non-religious subjects

A recent article on Inc.com defines intellectual humility as “the willingness to accept that you might be wrong and to not get defensive when arguments or information that’s unfavorable to your position comes to light.”

ZMEScience.com states that “intellectual humility is the opposite of intellectual arrogance, having a lot in common with open mindedness. Intellectually humble people can also have strong opinions on something, and they don’t necessarily have to be humble in other circumstances. Basically, this trait shows how likely you are to accept that you might be wrong when faced with evidence.”

Embodying healthy humility can have a major positive effect on your personal and business success. Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) can help you in this development and that of other traits to enhance your leadership skills and become a sought-after resource in your organization.

Impacts On Decision-Making

Intellectually humble leaders may be better poised to make more effective decisions because they can quickly absorb and accurately evaluate information coming at them without being overly influenced by their own beliefs, says the Duke study.

When presented with facts, study subjects “who displayed intellectual humility also did a better job evaluating the quality of evidence — even in mundane matters,” according to the research. “For instance, when presented with arguments about the benefits of flossing, intellectually humble people correctly distinguished strong, fact-based arguments from weak ones.”

Leadership And Intellectual Humility

Inc.com states that while intellectual humility might sound brand new, it’s been studied by business leaders for many years, including people like Stanford business school professor Bob Sutton.

Back in 2006, Sutton wrote that humility is a must for sound leadership. As a leader, it’s important “to not be too attached to what you believe because, otherwise, it undermines your ability to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ evidence that clashes with your opinions,” he stated.

Duke’s professor Leary concurs, stating, “If you’re sitting around a table at a meeting and the boss is very low in intellectual humility, he or she isn’t going to listen to other people’s suggestions. Yet we know that good leadership requires broadness of perspective and taking as many perspectives into account as possible.”

Intellectual humility allows leaders to listen to their teams and make the decisions that ensure wide-ranging success for everyone involved—and those are the leaders that will continue to thrive in today’s constantly shifting business arena.

 

Looking for a way to practice humility by accepting a gentle growth challenge every week? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. Best of all, it’s completely free and with no strings attached.

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Female Leadership Challenges In Today’s Business Arena

Women continue to make strides in the workplace around equitable pay and leadership positions compared to their male counterparts, but there is still a long way to go.

According to the Washington Post, “The number of female CEOs of America’s most influential companies is stuck at 5 percent, as it was the year before. While women make up 45 percent of the labor force of the S&P 500, few are climbing to the very top.”

One factor that can keep women out of key upper management roles is the lack of an effective leadership style, and women face many difficulties in learning how to be an effective manager.

Female Leadership Challenges

There are certain female stereotypes that interfere with women learning to be good leaders and which present difficulties that their male counterparts will never experience. A recent Wall Street Journal piece describes it very well.

“Leadership experts say women must navigate a ‘double-bind:’ If they assert themselves forcefully, people may perceive them as not acting feminine enough, triggering a backlash. But if they act in a stereotypically feminine way, they aren’t seen as strong leaders.”

Additionally, says WSJ, the lack of women in leadership roles means a lack of role models for young women to emulate in developing a uniquely female leadership style. “Women can watch male leaders too, of course, but men can’t illustrate how to navigate female stereotypes.”

Steps To Move Forward

Here are some ways that female managers at any level can develop and strengthen their leadership abilities.

  • Seek Out A Female Role Model – As stated above, this may be easier said than done. If there’s isn’t a competent female manager in your company, look to the outside. You might find someone in a professional or community group. Authentic Leadership International (boldermoves.com) can help you make these connections and offer continuing advice on leadership development.
  • Find A Female Mentor – As stated above, you may need to go outside your company to find this. The site Business Dictionary advises, “Observe your mentor’s behavior closely, especially how she reacts in stressful or difficult situations. It is important to develop your own leadership style, but utilizing what you learn from a successful manager to mold your own behavior can be a good starting point.”
  • Get Yourself Noticed – Women need to take charge of their office image, states WSJ. “They shouldn’t be content simply that their name is on an important report. Instead, they should actively engage colleagues and superiors, and talk frequently about their ideas and research.”
  • Develop Your Skills – According to Business Directory, “As you become known for the quality of your work and for your achievements, your team and peers will start accepting you as a strong leader.”

As you grow and develop your leadership skills, remember to be patient with yourself and with those around you. You’re not only moving yourself forward; you’re also advancing the truth that women can be effective leaders in any organization and any business arena.

Looking for a fresh dose of motivation to inspire and challenge you every week? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. Best of all, it’s completely free and with no strings attached.

 

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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