Servant Leadership: A Better DNA for Leaders2023-01-172023-01-17https://rickconlow.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/rci-logo.pngRick Conlowhttps://rickconlow.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/rci-the-lack-of-leaders-that-serve.jpg200px200px
Witness the rise of Servant Leadership. This means a better DNA of leaders in organizations. Servant leaders are out there. Are you one? Revolutionary change is brewing. This radical transformation germinated from the dead works of corporate ignorance and political fat cats that do not care for people. Employees are tired, frustrated, and fed up with these kinds of leaders. The Great resignation proved that. Distrust, disengagement, and resentment reigns. According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, more people distrust business because of economic and social inequalities. As a result, employees do not trust companies’ leadership and it is becoming increasingly challenging to rebuild credibility. Watch and join the rise of Servant Leaders.
Business, if not world leadership, is at a precipice. Will the old guard continue to dominate in their greedy, selfish, unethical manner? Or will employee and customers alike become even more restless, disengaged, and revolutionary in thought or action, and demand wholesale leadership changes?
A new species of servant leaders is arising. In nature, geneticists call this sympatric speciation. The professional DNA of these leaders is unique. It is not about profit, promotion, or political gain. It is about the need, and selfless service to do the right thing. Protect the planet. Feed the hungry. Heal the sick. Give jobs to the unemployed. Pay fairly. Help those in trouble. Coach. Lift up, do not leave behind. Share the wealth, do not hoard it.
3 People Who Define the New Species of Servant Leaders
Cheryl Bachelder saved Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen from bankruptcy through Servant Leadership principles. It was her secret tool for success. Treat franchises as partners not just customers. She honed her skills while working at Domino’s Pizza and KFC. From these experiences she wrote in her blog, see came to the “well-founded conclusion that serving the people and the enterprise is by far the best path to superior financial performance.”
How did they do it? They talked to and listened to their owners. With their input they designed a plan for superior results. Shared information and open lines of communication and problems-solving became the norm.
Mr. Demoulas is the beloved CEO of Market Basket, a grocery store chain of seventy locations and 25,000 employees in the NE United States. He was ousted as the organization’s leader a few years ago, by other members of his family who had more stock, prompting all the employees to protest and go on strike even though they had no union. Other owners wanted to close some stores, raise prices, reduce pay, and cut benefits to increase profitability. (Sound familiar?) Mr. Demoulas paid above industry average, as well as established a retirement fund that added 15% of annual pay each year for employees. He remembers employees’ names and their sick relatives and offers higher education stipends. After an eight-month battle, he purchased 50.5% of the stock to regain control and save the company. As a result, it is thriving and growing.
He is the CEO of worldwide clothing company H&M. His company is gearing their brands to looking healthy, not trendy, or skinny. They recently released a new plus-sized swimsuit line. He insists that he will allow only “sound and healthy” models. Persson’s goals are quality in the clothing line, safety, and financial stability for all employees. In addition, his goal is to grow while respecting the planet. Consequently, he is changing his industry with cheaper quality fashion while having an ethical conscience of its impact on customers, employees, the community, and the environment.
Pulling It All Together
In contrast, consider Martin Shkreli a pharmaceutical executive. He drastically raised the price of a drug called Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. It is used to treat a disease fatal to H.I.V. patients. His antics caused a firestorm. Eventually the government arrested him for securities fraud. He now serves time in prison. Leaders like him focus only on bottom-lines, stock markets, or quarterly reports. They are aloof and elitist in their views of other people.
In conclusion, this new species of leaders calibrates their behavior by noble values that are in sharp contrast to the status quo. Their personal DNA is measured by their servant focus, genuine caring for others (employees, the community, and customers alike) and integrity to contribute to making the world a better place. If you are an employee, voice your opinion. If you are a leader, embrace the change or resign.
Rick Conlow is the CEO & Founder of Rick Conlow International, a leadership consulting, training and coaching firm. RCI partners with organizations to dramatically increase employee engagement, customer loyalty and sales through Servant Leadership. He has helped over 200 companies such as Target, Costco, Andersen Windows, Spectrum, Northern Power, Meijer, Carpet King, International Truck, John Deere, Lowes Financial, and Canadian Linen improve customer loyalty, increase sales and add profits. Rick has been a general manager, vice president, training director, program director, and national sales trainer. He has authored 22 books including the best selling Superstar Leadership Model, and The 5 Dynamics of Servant Leadership.