Enough With The Superstars
How Wisconsin Servant Leaders are elevating their communities.
The network conducts local roundtables and statewide conferences. They are guided by the teachings of Robert Greenleaf, forefather of the Servant Leadership crusade in the U.S. How can the power of Servant Leadership change the paradigm of for and non-profit organizations from top-down management to management that enriches employees at work and throughout their lives?
While its reach is long and deep, let’s stick to three areas of the workplace.
First, consider institutional longevity. Employees who feel genuinely respected and recognized for their efforts are much more likely to contribute more and stay with the organization. The organization thrives. A long term study reported in Inc. Magazine (September 2016), compared the average Return on Investment (ROI) for three categories of management. It found that the average ROI for a Fortune 500 is 10.8%, for a Good to Great Company (Guru Jim Collins designation) at 17.5% and for a Servant Led company, the average was 24%.
Second, the job market is heating up; unemployment is almost non-existent for skilled professionals. If you want to keep knowledgeable employees, pursue Servant Leadership. You can spend valuable resources recruiting or you can respect, empower and serve current employees. No matter the title, this is their life; they want to be given credit for their work and feel as if it matters. People are crushed by top down, know-it-all bosses who nit-pick their efforts or even worse humiliate them privately or publicly
Hello Boss! You can’t possibly know everything even if you have four college degrees. Listen to your employees. Metaphorically speaking, sit in circles rather than lecture hall configuration-all opinions are necessary for success.
Third, if you’re over fifty-you’re over the hill. Your time on the stage, as Shakespeare so eloquently wrote, is running out. Before it does you’re going to deal with The Millennials. Understand that just like your generation (which wasn’t always appreciated by the prior one), they will change the world. You can fight them or learn from them. What they want is surprising and encouraging. Frankly, they are already Servant Leaders without knowing it.
A Millennial himself, Jesse DePinto, Managing Partner of Front Desk, LLC says Millennials seek something greater than themselves. They want autonomy and ownership of their responsibilities. They will look for fulfillment and not hesitate to leave a workplace which doesn’t provide it. They are smart and have figured out that the top down approach has not served us well.
DePinto says they won’t sacrifice family, peace of mind or, heaven forbid, ethics for a big paycheck. Money isn’t their driving force. Their interests include building community, collaboration, coaching not controlling and stewardship. This is a generation traumatized by the economic collapse which began in roughly 2006 to 2009. Many would say that collapse left anxieties with regard to big institutions which remain to this day.
Software development has shown them the teamwork necessity. Agile or Scrum software development uses Servant Leadership. All are trying to achieve a goal with the leader seen only as a facilitator.
Servant Leadership is not a facile program. The journey will be difficult because the “boss” mentality and adulation of super stars is engrained in our culture. Start by going to the website: www.wisconsinservantleadership.org. Albert Einstein can have the last word: “It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service.”
Come join us at the semi-annual conference Nov. 7th, “Building the Engaged Enterprise”
Morning Session Free: https://wisl-joe-patrnchak-am.eventbrite.com
Afternoon Workshop: https://interactive-workshop-joe-patrnchak-110717.eventbrite.com
By Richard R. Pieper, Sr. Non-Executive Chairman, PPC Partners, Inc.