Show Notes

  • Servant leadership consists of two parts, according to Ken. “The vision, direction, values, and goals are the leadership part,” he explains. Such is the responsibility of the hierarchy; people need to know what good behavior looks like, and what they’re held accountable for. The service part of servant leadership involves “helping them win.” Servant leaders work to help their people accomplish their goals and live according to the vision. [7:15]
  • Are you here to serve or be served? Ken describes how effective leadership is an inside job. “When I ask people how many of them want to be a servant leader versus a self-serving leader, everyone puts their hands up, but when I ask how many are servant leaders, they hunch down in their chairs,” he shares. “When you’re a servant leader, it’s really about we, not me. You’re there for your people to win.” [11:03]
  • Marcel asks Ken to talk about “turning the traditional pyramid upside down.” Implementing this counterintuitive way of thinking can work for every organization, says Ken, but the human ego gets in the way. What prevents people from being servant leaders is either a more-than philosophy, where people believe they shine brighter than others, or a less-than philosophy, where they ruminate on their faults and doubt themselves. “In both of them, they’re focusing on themselves,” he adds. “The cure for false pride is humility… and the way you deal with feelings of inferiority is to realize that God didn’t make any junk.” [15:42]
  • Every one of us is a leader, and no-one can avoid that. Leadership is an influence process; by simply having a relationship of any nature with someone, you have the potential to lead them. Therefore, servant leadership is about becoming a better human being. Great human beings don’t center their lives on themselves, they center it on others. [21:15]
  • “You can’t know how to apply a situational style of leadership to one employee versus another employee, and the circumstances that they’re under, unless you understand who they are as a human being,” Marcel quotes. He and Ken explore the importance of relationships. [25:13]
  • Ken believes servant leadership is love in action. “Love is patient, kind, does not envy, and all those wonderful characteristics,” he remarks. “To be a great servant leader, you have to be patient, kind, and all of those characteristics… It’s not soft at all because it’s very powerful. Love means ‘I care about you, I want you to win…’ Love is about both people and results.” When people realize you truly cherish them, they want you to win too, Marcel adds. [32:12]
  • “My hope for people who read this book is that they will use it with their people, because simple truths are not to be done to people; they are to be done with people,” Ken comments. “If you are a leader who wants to serve instead of be served, and build trust with you people, you’re gonna go up the hierarchy like crazy and win.” [36:49]

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About Marcel Schwantes

Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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