Service Leadership is a new way of thinking about how we look after ourselves, support those around us and inspire meaningful change. All at the same time.
Rather than a specific model to follow, Service Leadership is a platform for leading, living and working. It is grounded in self-care, equity and collaboration. Read our initial ideas about Service Leadership here.
Throughout our research, we have heard loud and clear that now is the time for Service Leadership. The 21st century is demanding we rethink how we connect with our families, communities and offices. There is a growing awareness that the power of being in service to others will allow us to rebuild systems and mindsets that are stuck in the past. Why do we feel Service Leadership is a platform that can empower leaders of all ages and experiences? Our research tells us that:
- Serving others isn’t about win/loose. Quite frankly that model of leading and measuring success is boring and is an easy out for taking true responsibility for outcomes. We are convinced that leaders who have the courage to move past the winner-take-all mentality and use Service Leadership as a way to challenge themselves to maximize the impact our teams can make. Service Leaders know that wins are more numerous and far more rewarding when we are less focused on who gets the credit and more interested in seeing real change.
- Service Leadership is a partnership with the person, idea or movement with which we want to move forward. The pushback we have heard loud and clear is that it is impossible to be in partnership with someone when acting as a servant. When we build equity for ourselves (and those we want to serve) into the equation, we can lead from a place of authenticity and clarity.
- Somewhat ironically, the best way to make it not about me is to know myself really, really well. This means that we play to our strengths and serve in ways that come naturally and feed us energy. The more we understand what inspires us, scares us and our reactions to stress or change, the easier and faster we can turn our attention and energy toward others without getting caught up in our own drama and needs.
Many of us are practicing Service Leadership already. It is not complicated and comes naturally. It may be as simple as inviting someone else to speak first or listening for the sake of listening (not getting ready to respond). Service Leadership also looks like pushing against systems that are focused on self-preservation instead of meeting real needs and actively looking for ways to mentor those who look different than we do. The scale of our actions is not as important as the outward focus we put on them.
Read more about our thoughts on Service Leadership:
- The first three steps
- The benefits of service leadership
- Actions service leaders take and the behaviours they use
- The simple changes Service Leaders make to our language