What is servant leadership? The simple answer is that you lead through serving. The real answer is much deeper than that, and today, Kevin talks about some of his bold claims about how it can work. His ideas have even been called unrealistic, but they aren’t. If you’re looking for ways to transform your work environment through the power of servant leadership, this episode is for you.
- What does it mean to transform something? A dramatic change in which someone or something is improved. When you practice servant leadership, it’s not just about the way you lead. It’s in the way you live, the way you see the world. Worldviews are transformative.
- Kevin shares three examples of transformation through servant leadership. First, legendary basketball coach John Wooden of UCLA, who had the ability to take superstars who were amazing in their own rights and turn them into powerful, cohesive teams. He had an 80% win rate and 10 national championships. How did he do it?
- Second is Captain David Marquet, who took the USS Santa Fe from the worst to the first ship in the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy. The captain wasn’t prepared for a submarine, so he taught his followers, his subordinates, to be leaders. Marquet had a gift of seeing worth in potential in others, and inspiring them to see it themselves.
- Superior results are huge for corporations, so the third example comes from Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeye’s. When she took over the helm of the restaurant chain, they were sinking fast. Within 10 years, they became best in category and a Wall Street darling. How did she do it? Among other things, she led the thought transformation from putting shareholders first. They didn’t focus on customers, either. Who did they focus on serving? Franchise owners.
- One of Kevin’s colleagues, Ari Weinzweig, says “if you really live it, servant leadership changes everything.” It’s a quote Kevin shares often, and he was even accused of sensationalizing in a talk overseas. But when he says everything, he means it. Kevin talks about what this looks like in day to day practice.
- To remove all ambiguity, Kevin gives his definition of servant leadership, and it might just transform how you think about it. Purpose, meaning, something bigger than yourself. And it’s not a zero-sum game.
If you’ve connected with this story, and you want to learn more about servant leadership, and practice the skills you need to serve your team, company and community, go to ServantLeadershipYear.com, and join the community.