An employee of yours is late for the third time this week; you know you are going to have to have a discussion with him. Your company has had a stellar year. Now you’re worried about what size check you are going to have stroke to Uncle Sam come April 15th. A customer calls mad because their name was spelled wrong on a letter you sent to them. You realized you sent a marketing piece to print containing incorrect numbers. To top it all, your computer crashed and, ouch, you don't have your files backed up.
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2 Questions for striving servant leaders
Where is your car and your nursery?
Is your leadership philosophy one of servant leadership? Wonderful! I would challenge you this week to consider if you are behaving in ways that demonstrate servant leadership. Here are some simple questions to ask yourself:
Where is your car parked at the office?
Do you have an assigned spot with your name or title on it right up front, or do people simply just know the front row is your parking spot whether a sign is there or not? Or do you discretely park in the back row of the parking lot even though you are the first to arrive?
If you have a nursery connected to your office, do your employees have that luxury too?
Much has been said about Marissa Mayer’s decision to eliminate telecommuting for Yahoo employees, but what I find most intriguing as a leadership lesson in this scenario of a young, successful new mother and new CEO is that she apparently had a nursery attached to her office to balance work-life demands. Do the rest of her employees have this privilege? Nope. I would imagine this fact seals the coffin in her employees’ morale that now have a harder time balancing work life demands because they can’t telecommute, much less have a nursery at the office.
More on this issue here:
The bottom line: Practice what you preach. If you want to demonstrate a mentality of putting others and customers first, then ask yourself, do your employees come first or do you?