May 17, 2018

Leadership: three main building blocks of leadership

The three main building blocks of making a real difference

Today we’re going to talk about three main building blocks of leadership.

Now there are many ways to look at leadership, but this one of the most important ways.

It’s quite simple really. If you want to lead, influence and if you want to influence, serve and if you want to serve, listen and observe first.

Now you might say, “Leadership: who wants that? That involves responsibility and worst of all, paperwork!”

But then we start talking about influence. And you might say now that’s a little bit more interesting.

I mean who wouldn’t like little bit more influence over their friends, or maybe some influence over their coworkers or maybe some influence over their boss and then there’s always the influence over your spouse or partner. And then how about this influence over your mother-in-law!?

So how do we get this influence? We serve. Remember if you want to lead, influence, and if you want to influence, serve. Now the service does not mean that we’re slaves. Servants have a choice: slaves do not. Jesus himself said, “If you want to be first, be last and the leader should be the servant of the others”

But then again you might ask me how do we serve? The first and most important thing we do is listen and observe. I’m sure you’ve heard it from your parents: “Just don’t stand there, do something!”. But this is going to be different: ” Just don’t do something, stand there.” In other words stand there and listen and observe. First listen to the person’s feelings and then to what they think. Doing this can help you discern between what they need and what they want. Doing this can also help you discern how you can really help. So remember if we want to lead we influence, if we want to influence we serve, if we want to serve we first listen and observe.

More specifically we can serve in other ways:

You can help people doing their job.We don’t want to do a job for them but we do want to facilitate making the job easier.

It’s very important to recognize and compliment people when they do their work. Actual words of encouragement are important too.

There are several basic things we should do as leaders for everybody. It’s important to:

Make sure we train them.

Make sure they have an opportunity to have a mentor.

Make sure we introduce them to people that can help them with their career.

Make sure we carefully mediate disputes.

Make sure we help them by organizing and setting things up for them to succeed.

Make sure we to hold them accountable

Make sure we tell stories that relate to the culture we are in.

For more on serving in the workplace you may want to read the One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and his follow-up book Situational Leadership and the One Minute Manager. By the way I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Blanchard over at Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church about 10 years ago

So remember, if you want to lead, influence and if you want to influence, serve and if you want to serve, listen and observe first.

Contact us if you want help applying this