Leg 2: Boundaries

Lesson 3: Topic 13 of 19

The servant leader’s abilities, time, and talents are used, but not abused.

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Being a humble leader does not mean you allow yourself to be abused. By laying clearly defined boundaries, one allows his or her abilities to be used constructively. Healthy and balanced boundaries bring confidence to your employees who, knowing what is expected of them, are able to move forward and accomplish the goals they are responsible for.

There is security in the strength of focused leadership. The servant leader doesn’t say, “Yes” to every request, but remains steadfast in his focus for the company. That requires knowing what direction the company is headed in, and sticking to it, not drifting with every shifting wind. This sense of stability causes one’s followers to become more confident in their roles and careers.

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One simple way to set clear boundaries is by referring to an employee handbook, or job description. The handbook is given to each employee as they are hired, clearly defining what is expected from them, and what they will receive from the company in return for their efforts. It is crucial that the boundaries be defined, and then implemented. If it’s within your job responsibilities, review your handbook, and revise it if it is weak in scope or effectiveness, or in fact, in any way. Have the entire document reviewed by a legal expert in your field.

If a boundary is crossed, be firm and incredibly clear when correcting the employee. Thorough explanation is the kindest course. When necessary, take action, so the boundary is not crossed again. This is critical, not only for the staff member in question, but also for team morale. A formal write-up may be needed for repeat offenders, and even dismissal. An employee who is allowed to flaunt his disregard for boundaries is a demotivational force for everyone else.