The Platform

Lesson 3: Topic 17 of 19

The Platform that stands on the four legs: The Servant Leader is ethical.

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We end with a quote from an executive coach and motivational speaker whose words echo those of Hesselbein at the start of this course:

Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about the inspiration of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.

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What is your reputation built on?

If your company has a reputation of integrity, you will be more likely to: attract customers who value honesty, retain employees with greater loyalty, and even sleep well at night!

A position of authority can be used as a shield by the individual in charge to keep from changing her ways. We’ve known many leaders who live a life of “It’s my way or the highway.” Yes, she gets her way, but alienates herself in the process. She’s unable to retain long term relationships. How long do you believe this success lasts before there is no one to help in times of need?

“I don’t care if people respect me, so long as they fear me.” That saying is attributed to Caligula, the debauched and cruel Roman Emperor who reigned just before the time of Christ. Though he personally has long been hated, and rightly so, the management style epitomized by his quote has for some reason endured. Some of us can tell stories about bosses who embodied Caligula’s preference for leading through fear. 

By all modern standards, that kind of autocratic style is not true leadership. Can you really be leading well if no one freely follows? Bosses who rely on instilling fear find themselves increasingly in trouble as the demographic of the modern workforce changes. Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of about 6,000 per day. They are being replaced by workers who generally don’t put up with abusive or indifferent leaders, who are intolerant of people they dislike or distrust, and who want to work for more than just a paycheck. Millenial and Zoomer employees want to be mentored, want to feel their contributions are appreciated, and want their work to provide a sense of meaning or purpose.

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