“[…] a management philosophy which implies a comprehensive view of the quality of people, work and community spirit. It requires a spiritual understanding of identity, mission, vision and environment. A servant leader is someone who is servant first, who has responsibility to be in the world, and so he contributes to the well-being of people and community. A servant leader looks to the needs of the people and asks himself how he can help them to solve problems and promote personal development. He places his main focus on people, because only content and motivated people are able to reach their targets and to fulfill the set expectations” (Quoted from Wikipedia’s reference article on the topic)
and while catching up last week with my good friend, the always insightful and equally thought provoking, StoweBoyd I just couldn’t help thinking about how we may not need to redefine much what was already hinted hundreds of years ago about servant leaders, but perhaps just fine tune a little bit more the work carried out eventually by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970 on this very same topic, as a way to help define what will be demanded of, a few decades later, Leaders 2.0 in the knowledge economy of the 21st century where social technologies have finally introduced wirearchy in the corporate world for it to stay, moving right along, with traditional hierarchy.
And in that context I just couldn’t help thinking about this superb article at Inc.com under the suggestive heading “8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses” by GeoffreyJames that has been making the rounds on various social networks out there and which clearly portraits the kind of shift that traditional management needs to make in order to help prepare the leaders of tomorrow, if not today altogether already. No, I am not going to spoil the fun and try to reproduce Geoffrey’s article with plenty of quotes here and there. On the contrary, I would like to encourage you all to have a look into that truly inspirational dissertation and be prepared to be wowed big time! As a teaser, here you have got the 8 Core Beliefs Geoffrey talks about, just to get you going:
“Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield
A company is a community, not a machine
Management is service, not control
My employees are my peers, not my children
Motivation comes from vision, not from fear
Change equals growth, not pain
Technology offers empowerment, not automation
Work should be fun, not mere toil”
Pretty powerful stuff, don’t you think? I am sure you would all agree with that assertion, but there is more, there is always more eventually!, because, just as I was putting together this article I bumped into a rather evoking image on Google Plus that can certainly help folks differentiate between traditional management, the boss, and this new kind of management, the leader:
And as I kept reflecting on that transition from bosses to leaders as the one that is going to shape up management as we know it within the business world, and all of that thanks to social networking, amongst several other timely happenings, I just couldn’t help remembering, quite fondly, the absolutely stunning blog post that Kathy Sierra (Gosh, how much do I miss her mind-boggling blog posts!) shared over 6 years ago!! under the title “Manager 2.0” with this brilliant image that would surely resonate quite a bit with that of servant leadership:
I would happily recommend you all to go through Kathy’s article to realise how close Social Business has been all along, even right from the start!, on helping shape up the way we understand and embrace both management and leadership 2.0 nowadays, 6 years later, into something that perhaps we have been having all along, but that we just didn’t know it, or maybe that we have neglected and ignored for far too long. The reality is that if someone would be asking me to define the new role of leadership in today’s interconnected, instrumented, intelligent, engaged, smarter, trustworthy and transparent social business world the one single key concept that would keep coming up, in a recurring way, time and time again, would be what’s been there all along with us throughout history: Servant Leadership.
And here is probably the toughest question of them all that will keep coming up repeatedly, now more than ever, and that we all need to try and find an answer for: in todays social business world are your / our current leaders servant leaders? And if they aren’t, what can we do to help prepare them?
Changing the World One Idea at a Time
Tue, Sep 10th 2013 4:43a Luis Suarez You know that summer is almost gone when September comes along in full force, work peaks up again a notch or two, and conference month kicks in. Pretty much like March, after the rather long winter months. I am not sure why, but it’s really interesting to see how both March and September themselves seem to be the busiest times of the year, at least, this year, in terms of public speaking and attending various different conference events over the course of a short couple of weeks. So as [read] Keywords: notes
The Dangers of Mediocrity and The Power of the Dip
Thu, Sep 5th 2013 5:42a Luis Suarez One of the things that I have always enjoyed, and quite a bit, from the Social Web, and the different social networking tools out there, and the main reason why I keep coming back for more, is that no matter how much time may have just gone by, the good content, the golden gems, those pieces of reflection and insight that you know you are going to bump into over time they keep resurfacing time and time again, making the mere presence on social networking tools just worth it on its own. Earlier o [read] Keywords: collaboration
Giving Up Control in the Era of Open Business
Tue, Sep 3rd 2013 3:02p Luis Suarez It’s rather interesting to ponder how, over the course of years, us, consumers, have been asking traditional industries to move on with the times and enter the 21st century (of the Digital Era), so that they could embrace and apply different business models, than those they have been operating under over the course of last few decades, to make themselves profitable again, in order to meet, at the same time, their potential new reality: a smarter, interconnected, mobile, always-on consumer [read] Keywords: facebook
Situational Leadership in the Era of Open Business
Fri, Aug 30th 2013 4:02a Luis Suarez One of the things that I got to appreciate quite a bit during the course of the summer vacation I took earlier on this month was having the opportunity for doing plenty of reflective thinking and one of the recurring themes that came up over and over again was that one of Leadership and how the role leadership itself is being transformed, in a now more complex than ever (business) world, thanks to the significant impact of digital technologies. Those of you who have been reading this blog for [read] Keywords: blogging
The Innovation of Loneliness
Wed, Aug 28th 2013 4:02a Luis Suarez One of the really interesting things in the world of social networking is how every now and then you bump into a specific resource, an online video clip, a blog post, a mainstream news article, a dissertation or whatever else, that is just so thought-provoking and rather mind-boggling in challenging your own notion, experiences, know-how, skills and expertise on the topic of social networks that surely makes you think about your own experiences twice, to the point where it makes you pause and th [read] Keywords: networking
Should CEOs Blog?
Tue, Aug 27th 2013 5:02a Luis Suarez Earlier on this month, my good friend, Euan Semple wrote a short blog post on the topic of how tough it is to put together that initial first blog entry, if you are new to blogging, and even more so if you are an executive. It’s just like the whole world is watching you for that first article and you just want to do things right. You certainly don’t want to look like a fool, never mind that feeling of being ridiculed by your peers if things don’t work out. You just can’t [read] Keywords: blogger
Finding Time to Reflect while on Vacation
Sat, Aug 24th 2013 1:02p Luis Suarez Once again, it’s been nearly a couple of weeks since my last blog post over here on The Perks of Being an Early Riser and I am sure at this point in time folks out there may be thinking that, once more, I have failed to keep up with restoring my social presence as I mentioned on that last article. Far from the truth, I am afraid. Over the last few days I have been doing something that I have been looking forward to for quite some time and that it’s always something that I can neve [read] Keywords: ibm
The Perks of Being an Early Riser
Tue, Aug 13th 2013 4:02a Luis Suarez I have been a remote knowledge (Web) worker for almost 10 years now (Back in November 2003, when I was still living in The Netherlands) and over the course of time, while I shifted from European based projects into worldwide ones I have been doing plenty of adjusting of work schedules to meet the demands of work and therefore become a night owl of sorts, but at the same time ensuring that work life integration is there, right from the start. It’s been an interesting journey all along and e [read] Keywords: connections
Digital Transformation – It’s Just The Beginning
Tue, Aug 6th 2013 4:09a Luis Suarez One of the interesting things that I have been exposed to over the course of time, specially, as more and more knowledge workers embark on their own journey of using social networking tools in a business context is how there seems to be this notion that we are almost done with that digital transformation. Meaning that those who have been using these social technologies for a while now feel like their work is done and dealt with in terms of that very same digital transformation. To them, it feels [read] Keywords: enterprise