A Commitment to Human Beings
Lessons from August’s Servant Leadership Community of Practice
Ask yourself these questions… and see how your inner voice responds.
Are you willing to run headfirst into danger and risk the unknown for someone else?
Are you willing to put aside your own interests for the sake of a greater shared vision?
Are you willing to work tirelessly to see the aspirations of others reached?
Are you willing to act in ways that others will proudly follow?
In our August 2022 Community of Practice, we discussed one of Simon Sinek’s books, Leaders Eat Last. He says if you can humbly and authentically answer “Yes!” to the questions above, then you are a leader.
Sinek shares story after story of people who make intentional decisions to lead in ways that put the needs of others as the highest priority – a core tenet of servant leadership. He says this:
“Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours and they would never sacrifice what is ours to save what is theirs. This is what it means to be a leader. It means they choose to go first into danger, headfirst toward the unknown. And when we feel sure they keep us safe, we will march behind them and work tirelessly to see their visions come to life and proudly call ourselves followers.”
(Servant) Leadership is an AWESOME responsibility.
And responsibility means taking care of others. It means making sacrifices in order for a business or group to succeed. To do this, a leader can create a CIRCLE OF SAFETY.
- What is it? It’s a place where we can contribute, communicate, and share ideas. It’s a room for failure and positive growth where trust can be established. It’s a community where teams work together and have a willingness to help one another.
- How to build one? Build trust, character, integrity. Build a foundation of expectations for everyone to follow. Talk about ethics at all levels.
- Why is it important to personal and team leadership? You have chosen to be a leader, make a choice that others follow and respect in your circles. Be open with others in order for development to happen. Caring for others above yourself builds a strong community.
GOAL = Putting others first
Sinek talks about the “Helping Others Industry” – where employees wake up every morning feeling safe, inspired, and fulfilled in their role.
This can only be achieved if their leader (YOU – or your employer, boss, supervisor) sets aside their own needs and focuses on those under them. It’s part of their position as a leader.
They have a responsibility to do more for others and less for themselves.
But ask yourself…
If that position and power are taken away, are you still a leader? Are you still that same person with a passion for leading or do you struggle with a sense of purpose?
Because at the end of the day, we are all human beings, no matter our position on the corporate ladder. We all have a commitment to serving and helping others.
If you’re looking for some quick reminders to improve your leadership in practice, here are some top takeaways.
Leadership Learning Lessons from Leaders Eat Last:
- Put others before self. You have a responsibility as a leader to set aside your own needs for the needs of others.
- Create a circle of safety. Develop a community where teams can work together in a safe, respectful, and trusting environment.
- Humble yourself. Just because you may be at the top doesn’t mean you’re above helping those below you. Be comfortable with not being the smartest in the room.
- Build trust. If you make a mistake – own it. Be open and honest.
Community Leadership Reflections:
Expanding on the takeaways above, our Community of Practice attendees also contributed their own leadership lessons based upon Sinek’s reflections and stories. Our community’s leaders shared:
- Expect the best from each other. It inspires loyalty and builds relationships and trust.
- Use empathy to address those who are struggling. Work on character development with those above and below you to create a cycle of educated leaders.
- Anyone with experience can be a leader. You can start your leadership journey at any age or position.
What have you learned from this book or blog? Anything you’d add to our lists, contact us and let us know!
- Leaders Eat Last – Book available through various retailers – https://www.amazon.com/leaderseatlastsimonsinek
This blog post wraps up August 2022’s Community of Practice events. To join us during the live discussion for future months, visit https://www.sophiapartners.org/events/ and register for either or both FREE, ONLINE group discussions. Coffee & Conversation occurs the third Friday of each month at 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. CT. Leaders Do Lunch occurs the fourth Tuesday of each month at 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CT.