In any given role, there is potential to become a leader; influence is not restricted to the Executives. As an Administrative Professional, you already have your hands in a multitude of projects, and you possess an ever-growing collection of knowledge and information. It is only natural to grow within this role, using your specific skill set and entrepreneurial spirit to lead those around you.
Servant Leadership is a philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. It is a powerful and humble form of leadership that results in connecting to those in your workplace and strengthening the trust and morale. We explored an article in Forbes, Adopting a Servant Leadership Mentality in 2019, and brought over the 4 Points of Wisdom (POWs) to becoming an effective Servant Leader.
POW 1 – Leading with Values
Take a moment to reflect on the situations, environments, and people who have influenced your values, and what exactly those values are. When it comes to places that you have worked, who were the most memorable people who conveyed a sense of empathy and where did it lead you? Even further, have those conversations with other people about their favorite work environment and what those leaders did to create a positive space.
Discovering what team members value in a work environment is important to create a workplace that is conducive to happiness and productivity. Consistently inquire about how individuals in your team are feeling and what is causing those feelings – both good or bad. Keeping an eye open to what drives your team forward is the best way to serve them.
POW 2 – Using Reflection to Lead
Where you have come from is pertinent data to uncover the key components of your success. Look back at the obstacles you have overcome and where it has led you. Use your past experiences to help prioritize what will lead your team to success. Forbes suggests using “start, stop and continue“ exercises with your team, to discover what practices you must start doing to stay on the path to success – as well as effective practices that you should continue implementing, and which ineffective habits should be stopped. Leading your team to pause and evaluate what is working and what is not is a practice that will have endless benefits.
POW 3 – Opening the Johari Window
This technique, The Johari Window, is a simple and useful tool for understanding your own self-awareness and improving communications and group dynamics with others. It includes four quadrants, of which information is:
- Known to others, and known to self (Open Area)
- Known to self, but not known to others (Hidden Area)
- Known to others, but not known to self (Blind Spot)
- Not known to others, and not known to self (Unknown)
The Johari exercise helps put into perspective how you work and communicate with others and how you continue to improve and build trust with your team. When you focus on the needs of your team, you will continue to deliver success through the inputs they provide. By opening the window, you let others in to help you continue to learn and grow, which provides more opportunity to deliver and execute in a cohesive way that benefits all.
POW 4 – Embrace volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity
With stress and all the emotions running high in our workplaces these days, it is common for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity ( VUCA ) to rear its ugly head. Beware the anxiety that will lead to bad decisions, indecisiveness and all the fear that follows.
To combat VUCA, you must be able to move along with it – go with the flow and embrace it. Use it to your advantage and flip it. Utilize these observations to pinpoint problematic areas and acknowledge them with your team so you can all work together to tackle the goals and regain the balance. This will provide an example for when individuals on your team experience this VUCA in their own projects. It comforts them to feel understood and that there is no need to feel hopeless when there is a strong and supportive team around them.
The bottom line is learning how to understand and reset the fears of your team and turn them into opportunity. When faced with danger, we all react and stress. A servant leader does also, but they are thinking about the team and not themselves. A servant leader sets the way by thinking about themselves second and their people first.
“Ultimately, when you serve others, they will serve you. That’s servant leadership. – Kristy McCann, Forbes”
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