“Organizations are as good as the people in them, so it’s only common sense to serve and empower the people who ultimately drive it” – Robert Greenleaf
A servant–led organization begins with the people who are a part of it. We all look for meaningful work, a safe environment, and an organization that lives its values. Values are not made in a vacuum. They are a collection of feelings, beliefs, and passions acting out in a world they serve. They can drive your organization in a positive and productive path or it can destroy an organization from within. It is imperative that you stand on your platform because it is how you show up in the world. Your values and character drive your passion, purpose, and ultimately profits. This allows a servant leader to enable others to stand on their platform and drive a value-driven organization.
Identifying and creating a set of values can be simple on the surface, however deep work is necessary to create buy-in and the engagement necessary for your organization’s strategic success. The good and the bad will make its presence known in every interaction you have with others.
It is a challenge because IT IS UP TO YOU. YOU are the change. YOU set the wheels in motion for change.
Learning to be a servant-leader is a continuous work. It is hard work to look inwards at my character, identify, and values, to make improvements. Have you ever talked with someone that says one thing and then does another? I have, and in my past, I was a person not congruent in thoughts and deeds. It left me angry at others, vulnerable to exploitation, and easily manipulated by others. Over the years I have learned to identify my values and work on my character. I have learned some lessons that build values.
- Seek self–awareness: Examine what is valuable in your life. Review and evaluate where you are emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. What do you need to change to work towards congruence?
- Work on change: Seek guidance and take change one step at a time. One small shift can change more than you think.
- Pay yourself: You are working hard to change, make deposits to yourself for working hard.
- Find your opportunities: Changes are hard. Doing it alone can be even harder. We need others to help us along the way. Take a class, find a group of like-minded people, reach out to friends, family, or coworkers to be on your team, and help you make the change.
- Apply Greenleaf’s “Best Test” of a servant leader: How does this change help others grow? How does this help me contribute to my family, organization, and community?
I continually work on these lessons for my own improvement and make changes where it is relevant. Practicing self-awareness helps me identify what is and is not working in my life. I then give myself permission to change. I know that change is hard. I have been through many situations that required exceedingly difficult changes such as a death of a child, divorce, family addiction, and death of family members. All required me to move forward and make changes. Thankfully, I surrounded myself with people who helped me move forward. I had a realization going through what I did – being open to others helping me was what a servant–leader is supposed to do. Unknowingly, I empowered others to use their purpose and their passions to serve. This would qualify as the ‘BEST TEST”. Other people’s service did contribute to my individual growth and to the growth of my community I serve.
Change is an exceptionally large part of being a servant–leader. Before you go into the world and BE the change, we must embrace the change in ourselves. Looking inward at our values, identifying the part they play in our passion, and purpose creates room for the hard work that comes next.
Learn to stand on your platform and serve.
- Who is in your driver’s seat?
- What path are you traveling?
- Is it congruent with your purpose and passion?
- Would your friends, family and coworkers be supportive when you decide to make a change?
Do you need help getting in the car, deciding what direction to go, or creating a path.
Do you want to be the change in others’ lives?
Cultivate Consulting is committed to you and your organizational growth.
Let me direct you how to get in the car and drive the path YOU want to go down.