What is service-oriented leadership?



Rough Transcript:

There are many misconceptions or misunderstandings about what service-oriented leadership actually is. Some examples are that service-oriented leaders are weak or passive, or they do everything on behalf of their teams. What they really do is focus on serving others. These are the misunderstandings about the premise, whether that's behind service-oriented leadership, until we'll be talking about exactly that, those misconceptions, those misunderstandings, as well as what are some of the behaviors that you could be exhibiting to show you are a service-oriented leader.

This is the Practicing Leader Podcast, and this week we'll be talking about how do you show up as your best self so that way you can serve others. I'm your host, Parul Bhargava, and let's discuss

Too often media puts authority and power as the spotlight of how organizations or companies run. You see this in the media constantly with the most spectacular or new sensational methodology is talked about, rather than looking at what is best for your organization as a whole. One of the ways that's been considered as a way to transform your organization or transform leadership is by placing the needs of others at the forefront.

At its core, this is what service-oriented leadership is. One of the ways that has been considered a way to transform your organization or transform leadership is by placing the needs of others at the forefront. Let's go through the top misconceptions about service-oriented leadership. First off, service-oriented leaders are considered weak or passive.

Here's the thing, being a leader that serves others requires a bunch of strength and the ability to make tough decisions whenever necessary. While it is about serving others, it's also about doing things effectively, and that effective only comes from strength and courage and the ability to make tough decisions.

The next one is they do everything for their teams. It's a misconception in that it's not that the leader's taking on all the working tasks for the responsibilities for the team. On the contrary, These leaders are empowering their team members to take ownership and develop their skills. This is where you as a leader can provide support, resources, and guidance, and also encourage autonomy and growth of these individuals to help them become their better selves.

The next one is these leaders focus on serving others and serving others alone. While it's at the core of the principles behind service-oriented leadership. And it's about serving others. It's not at the expense or at the exception of delivering on the overall mission and goals of the organization.

It's something that works in hand, works together, hand in hand. This to be balanced with individual needs as well as collective objectives to ensure the team is overall successful. Service. Service oriented leaders needs to be a balance between individual needs as well as the collective objectives to ensure the team is successful overall.

The next one is, These types of leaders is, it's just a passive leadership stunt if you're doing it correctly. Service oriented leadership involves active listening, having empathy and understanding, collaborating well with others. And if you think those are passive exercises, we probably should have a longer discussion about how you're exhibiting empathy and how you're listening to others.

'cause it ain't an, it's not a passive exercise, it's a very active one. In order to listen to others, you have to hear more than just the words. You also have to make the person feel like they're being heard and you're helping them grow and setting expectations and providing them guidance. To reiterate, these are not passive traits.

These are not passive activities. These are very active and they require tight engagement with individuals. The next misconception is, They're always nice and never hold people accountable. These leaders will provide and prioritize growth and wellbeing of their team members, but that does not mean that they avoid accountability, and it also doesn't mean that they don't hold people to account.

They set very, very clear expectations, provide feedback, and hold individuals accountable for their actions. However, that needs to be balanced with. Doing so with compassion and understanding the situation to be able to provide a foundation that promotes growth as well as development for individuals.

The last one I've heard is that service-oriented leadership is ineffective because some may believe that this type of leadership style is solely focused on relationships and overlooks achieving results. No leadership methodology will be successful if you're not getting the results. The intent of service-oriented leadership is to provide a positive work environment that empowers individuals to deliver better results so they can enhance their own performance.

If you create a culture of trust, collaboration, shared purpose, these leaders can drive exceptional results. At its core, these leaders are focused on serving others and enabling personal growth as well as development and success. The leader's role in this is to support and empower the team and foster a collaborative and inclusive environment so that individuals can both feel valued, be heard, and motivated.

When you have a team that feels this way, valued, heard, and motivated, you have a better chance of achieving stronger results than without. Now, let's jump into the characteristics of a leader that is practicing service-oriented leadership. One of the characteristics is empathy. Can you show a deep understanding and passion for others where you're actively listening to the concerns and needs of that individual that you're listening to?

Can you do that consistently across individuals or across a team and make sure that they feel like they're part of the solution and they can help generate the ideas necessary to move everyone forward? The next trait is humility. They recognize their own limitations and acknowledge the strengths and contributions of others.

The next trade is vision. You can provide a clear sense of direction and purpose, so that way you can inspire the team to work towards a shared set of goals. Next, empowerment. Service oriented leaders know how to delegate authority, as well as provide opportunities for their team members. So that they can take on the responsibility and develop their skills.

The idea that the leader is there to provide orders is simply not true. Leaders are there to help individuals become leaders themselves. And lastly, service. They actively seek ways to support their team. They'll remove obstacles. They'll facilitate their success. They will do whatever they can to help that individual be successful and allow that individual to grow as best that they can.

Service-oriented leadership has proven to be an effective model in fostering a positive work environment, promoting employee satisfaction, and achieving long-term organizational success. If you exhibit these traits and qualities, you'll have a better opportunity to help your organization develop more leaders in the future.

Service oriented leadership is about taking care of your people so that way they can take care of your customers. This is in stark contrast to the customer comes first, and the reason for that is if your people are taking care of, they will want to take care of your customers versus the alternative, which is you put the customer first and you think only secondly of of your people or of your, your employees.

They will take care of your customers, but there is a level of mask that they put on because if they're not enjoying their job, they're not enjoying where they're at, they're trying to put on the happy face for the customer, and there's an opportunity missed where if they're genuinely happy and they're genuinely liking their job, that they will genuinely take care of the customer, and the customer will feel it day in and day out as they're, as they're buying your product, your service, engaging with your team.

If you embrace the behaviors of active listening support in empowering your people, having humility and, and all the things we talked about during this podcast, there is an opportunity where your team can unlock its full potential. This leadership style can cultivate an environment where individuals can thrive, collaborate, and achieve extraordinary results, and it's up to you to decide how are you going to do that?

If you have any questions about this podcast or any other, you can always feel free to go ahead and drop me a line. You can go ahead and gimme a call at (206) 651-4312 and leave a message. Or alternatively, you can send me an email at [email protected]. I'll go ahead and weave it into whatever conversation we have in the next podcast and make sure that your question gets answered.

This has been The Practicing Leader Podcast. My name is Parul Bhargava, and I'll talk to you next week.