With workplaces becoming increasingly diverse and dispersed, traditional top-down leadership is becoming a thing of the past. The organizational pyramid is getting flattened and more leaders are working to collaborate with their employees on the same level to co-create and co-design through service leadership.
This type of leadership has proven to be highly effective as employees get to showcase more of their competencies and leaders are backed with a wider range of support. As a result, workplace environments that employ new leadership are often more open and positive, leading to increased employee engagement and loyalty. In the end, this type of leadership acts as its own form of performance management, being a self-reinforcing tool for both leaders and employees alike.
Putting this type of leadership into practice doesn’t have to be difficult. According to Ken Blanchard, there are five key areas to focus on:
1) See the Future: know what your team’s purpose is now and five years down the road and make sure the rest of your team is aware of this as well
2) Engage and Develop Your People: focus on employee motivation and find out what really drives your team
3) Reinvent Continuously: there’s always room for improvement and great leaders should always be on the lookout for this
4) Value Results and Relationships: give your team the appreciation they deserve
5) Embody the Values: successful leadership requires authenticity and trust. Make sure you always practice what you preach
If you want to know more about the ins and outs of service leadership, check out Ken’s book, The Secret: What Great Leaders Know – And Do, here, or better yet, consider attending the Blanchard Summit 2013.