How to Grow as a Leader
Lessons from November’s Servant Leadership Community of Practice
Life and Leadership;
They Don’t Happen To You,
They Happen For You.
In our November 2022 Community of Practice, we discussed Bernard Osborne’s book, Servant Leadership from the Middle, the first book in an exciting new servant leadership series from the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University.
Drawing from personal experiences, Osborne uses storytelling to bring emerging leaders through the steps they need to be the best manager, while staying true to traditional servant leadership principles.
“Iron sharpens iron, and conscientious reflection-after-action has the possibility to turn experiences into wisdom.”
We asked Osborne what the inspiration was for this book. He shared:
- When I got my first supervisor/manager position, I didn’t know what to do and couldn’t articulate what to do as a leader.
- I noticed other people in supervisory roles struggled as well.
- Once I discovered servant leadership, the pieces started coming together and making sense for what was needed to write this book.
The content of the book breaks the mold of traditional rules for managers – and cracks the myth that servant leadership is only for those at the top or bottom of an organization.
Servant leadership FROM the middle, FOR the middle.
Goal = Meld servant leadership with real-life situations through
“Life & Leadership Moments”
Osborne coined the term, “unsung sage” to describe the untraditional leadership role model. Below is some priceless advice from leaders, role models, and unsung sages.
- “Make the space between you and another person a sanctuary, so that there is a safe space to talk.”
- “Listening to others’ viewpoints may be the one thing needed to reach your goal.”
- “A good listener can make it easier to listen to the voice within yourself.”
- “No matter where you go, you take yourself with you.”
- “Life continues to teach you, so you need to continue to learn.”
CHARACTERISTICS of Servant-Leader Managers:
- Hardworking & perseveres through adversities
- Honesty & integrity
- Put others first (team, family, etc.)
- Encourages healthy debate
- Challenges others to think outside the box
- Curiosity of finding things out and continuing to learn
Ask yourself these questions:
How do I take that advice and use it everyday?
How do I apply servant leadership to those closest to me?
Who do I serve, and WHY?
What other characteristics define servant leadership?
“Leadership is teaching another person how to lead.”
Lead by example. Integrate servant leadership bit by bit. Be responsible. As a servant leader, you become a resource for other people.
It’s a way of being.
Take actionable steps to achieve you and your team’s goal. Be intentional about the work you’re doing NOW to make sure your whole team is on the same page.
When you have a great team, you can do great things from the middle!
What have you learned from this book or blog? Anything you’d add to our lists, contact us and let us know!
- Website, https://www.bernardlosborne.com
- Servant Leadership from the Middle. – Book available through various retailers – https://www.amazon.com/Servant-Leadership-Middle-Bernard-Osborne/dp/1682753387; https://www.fulcrumbooks.com/product-page/servant-leadership-from-the-middle
- More information on the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University: https://www.viterbo.edu/db-reinhart-institute-ethics-leadership/publications
This blog post wraps up November 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.