The Essence of Leadership in Five Letters

shoes

Image source by George Hodan

Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller capture, “The Secret,” of leadership in five letters, SERVE. The beauty of SERVE is inescapable simplicity and actionable clarity.

Serve

See the future: envision and communicate a compelling picture of a preferred future.

  1. What do I want to be true of the future?
  2. Why should anyone care?
  3. How will progress be measured?

sErve

Engage and develop others: recruit and align people for the right job. Create environments where people bring vision to life.

  1. What invited my engagement in the past?
  2. Which of these factors are missing in those I lead?
  3. How can I help teams and individuals grow?

seRve

Reinvent continuously: continuously focus on improvement.

  1. How do I need to change?
  2. Where do I want different outcomes?
  3. What organizational changes will accelerate progress?

serVe

Value results and relationships: generate measurable results and cultivate great relationships.

  1. Which is my personal bias as a leader – results or relationships?
  2. How can I compensate for the area that’s not my personal strength?
  3. What happens if I don’t broaden my definition of success?

servE

Embody values: live fully aligned with stated values.

  1. What values do I want to drive behaviors in my organization?
  2. How can I communicate these values?
  3. What are my actions communicating?

The ultimate question

“Am I a serving leader or a self-serving leader?”

Application

Apart from the ultimate question, the question that most hits me this morning is, “How do I need to change?”

It’s easy to see where they need improvement. It’s fun to “help” them. This morning, I’m the one who needs changing. I shouldn’t say, “This morning.” It’s every morning.

Organizations grow when their leaders grow.

The Secret” won’t take long to read but it takes a lifetime to live.

Which question in this post is most relevant for you, today?

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