9 Characteristics That Make Effective, Compassionate Leaders

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.

Matthew 20:26

Just like companies making the shift from product-orientation to customer-orientation in the 60’s, leaders are shifting their paradigm. Leaders realize that their function is not to ‘be the boss’ or ‘manage’ their people. They may do these things in title, but true leaders are now understanding that they are servants first.

The leader treats her team as her customers, and focuses on serving them.

She realizes that by serving her team first, she is enabling them to better do their jobs, which serves customers and clients, and grows the business.

Servant-leadership exponentially increases the potential for emotional, cultural, and financial gains.

Servant leaders ask themselves questions like: How does this benefit the team? If it doesn’t, why am I doing it? What needs does my team have that I can fulfill today?

Servant leaders crave information so that they may use it to better serve their teams. They have internalized The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, and have mobilized the concepts in their daily routines.

These level 1 leaders understand that they are temporarily filling a role, and that someone will come along to assume the yoke — they have to if the mission of the team is to be sustained. As soon as the outcome is tied to one individual, it is inherently unsustainable, finite, and unscalable.

Through serving their people first, leaders model many characteristics they wish to see:

  1. Humility before the job at hand.
  2. Courage in facing challenges.
  3. Putting relationships before tasks.
  4. Two-way accountability.
  5. Celebrating successes.
  6. Compassionate coaching.
  7. Using healthy conflict to advance important issues.
  8. Seeing tasks in the greater context of strategic team goals.
  9. Having a principle-orientation vs. a profit-orientation. Profits are important, but not at the expense of principles.

Can you lead from within a team without being the ‘boss’? Absolutely. Leaders at every level SEEK ownership.

How will you serve your team today?

Will you maintain the status quo or will you begin to model the change you wish to see?


Originally published at level1life.com on February 21, 2017.