Leaders grow leaders. They celebrate the successes of those they serve. This concept of servant leadership is at the heart of a Level 5 “All In” culture. Here’s what noted author Ken Blanchard says about the importance of servant leadership to the development of that world-class culture:
When I mention servant leadership to many organizational leaders, they think I’m talking about the inmates running the prison, pleasing everybody, or some religious movement…what they don’t understand is that there are two aspects of effective leadership. The first is the strategic aspect of servant leadership.
Leadership is about going somewhere. If your people don’t know where you want them to go, there is little chance you will get there…the second, [the] servant aspect of servant leadership [is the] operational/implementation aspect. While our research indicates that 80 to 85 percent of the impact on organizational vitality or success comes from operational leadership, without a clear organizational constitution there would be nothing to implement or serve.
— Ken Blanchard in his Foreword to S. Chris Edmonds’ excellent book, The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your World. Hoboken, John Wiley and Sons, 2014, pp. ii-iv.
Servant leadership means setting the azimuth (which Blanchard refers to as the “constitution” above) and supporting the workforce in their efforts to achieve the goals set forth in that azimuth.
The “All In” culture is all ears. Everyone is paying attention. Instructions are shared in a thoughtful, deliberate way. For example, leaders in the “All In” culture understand that emails and texts are not the primary form of communication. They know them as a means of sharing certain information, but not communication. Real communication happens face to face, or at the very least virtually or by phone.
There’s a deep undercurrent of mutual accountability in Level 5 cultures. From the outset, team members are expected to accept and follow the rules of organizational behavior the company has established.
Trust is the watchword of the “All In” culture.
This blog is based on material from my book “We’re All In.” You can get a copy of the first chapter for free here.
If you’d like a full copy of the entire book, you can get it here.
Enjoy the journey!
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