So far we’ve taken a look at the heart and mind of a servant leader and talked about Leadership EGO. Today, we’re going to discuss the work of a Servant Leader. Are you a Self-serving Leader or a Servant Leader? One of the greatest distinctions between a self-serving leader and a servant leader is the fact that servant leaders thrive in their care for people and their desire to help them succeed in their unique purpose and calling. Self-serving leaders thrive in their care for themselves and focus on their own success, pointing failure on anyone but themselves.
As servant leaders, one of the key activities we must engage in is performance coaching. Performance coaching is the most important servant leadership element in helping others achieve their goals. As performance coaches we need to recognize where those we lead are at a task level and alter our leadership style to meet their needs to help them succeed.
If you have children, have you ever sat down with them to help them study to get an “A” on an exam? I don’t know many parents who haven’t. We pour our hearts and souls into our children to make sure they have the opportunities and successes in life that we didn’t. This is servant leadership performance coaching in action. As servant leaders we want to help those we influence achieve all “As” on their exams.
There are three parts to becoming a performance coach: performance planning, day-to-day coaching and performance evaluation. Performance planning is you setting the goals. Day-to-day coaching is observing people’s performance, praising progress and redirecting efforts when they get off track. Performance evaluation is looking back on the effort someone expended to achieve a goal. If there isn’t clear communication of what a good job looks like, either you or those you influence will become frustrated and eventually fail.
One of the greatest examples we can set as leaders is to demonstrate our commitment to the success of our leadership vision by investing our time and energy into day-to-day coaching and reinforcing our values. Yes, it is time consuming, but when you care enough for the people you influence to make a positive difference in their lives, the payback is enormous. This is the legacy of a servant leader. It’s not about what we do for ourselves. It’s all about what we do for others. How do you want your leadership to be remembered by your coworkers, at home, in your church and in your community? What is your leadership legacy?