Last month, we briefly touched on some team building basics and how a leader emotionally invests in their teams. In Part 2, we will look at how aspects of Servant Leadership help form deeper bonds between your team and organization.
While the idea of servant leadership is not new, the term Servant Leadership was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. Greenleaf had the opinion that strong organizations had leaders who played the role of supportive coach. His ground-breaking work in 1970 has provided leaders a new way to look at leadership and his work.
So, where do we begin when trying to build our team with the concept of Servant Leadership in the forefront of our mind? The first place is, again, with ourselves. That seems like a self-serving place to start, but by removing ourselves from the spotlight, we start to see how we impact the team.
These two words go hand-in-hand in team building. To be selfless and serving it means you are putting your team before yourself. This can be in decision-making or work product. It may mean that a team decision doesn’t work out in your favor. It could also mean turning down an opportunity because it isn’t right for your team. Furthermore, you must take the time to make sure each team member is equipped with the right tools and resources to be successful. In undeveloped teams, this may mean taking one step forward and 3 steps back along the process of team building. To be selfless and serving, your team’s needs should come before your own.
It is human nature to seek affirmation for our work. Affirmation can take many forms and mean different things to different members of your group. Every member wants – needs – to know their work contributed to some level of success for the group/organization. If you are the leader, your members may be far removed from the praise of their work. When you receive praise for your work, deferring praise to your teammates goes a long way. Redirection of praise from senior leaders does not cost you anything, however, it means a great deal to your team.
We encourage you to further read into the seminal work of Robert Greenleaf and Servant Leadership. You might discover that you are already on the right path to serving your members and developing lasting organizational and interpersonal bonds. If your team needs a boost for that next big project or marketing effort, let us know. Remember, great teams use all the resources available to them.