Servant leadership: the secret sauce for success

June 25, 2014

I’m a big fan of Robert Greenleaf, who wrote a wonderful book I highly recommend, “Servant Leadership.” His premise and my avocation: “Good leaders must first become good servants.”

Servant leaders focus on the “we,” not the “me” and foster inspiration, transformation and bring out the best in others.

Looking up the word “leadership” in the dictionary gives us a less than satisfactory definition: the power or ability to lead other people. For some people who believe in what I call “old-style” management, that translates to “do your job or else.” Old-style managers don’t want employees to be better for fear one of them might take his or her job, transfer to another department or leave the company. They don’t care about their employees’ welfare or anyone else’s for that matter. Most of them are driven by greed. It’s my opinion that is not leadership: employees will never be loyal to that manager, the company and not likely to the customer either.

For me, leadership is the ability to inspire others to be their best – at their job skills, taking care of customers and fellow co-workers, and as citizens wherever they may be. Good leaders make other people better.

Sam Walton, founder of WalMart, once said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

Like Robert Greenleaf and others, I believe good leadership begins with being a humble servant to others – employees, customers, business partners and friends. When you truly care about other people, servant leadership comes easily and naturally. Lastly, I believe servant leadership and our culture is the secret sauce that makes KING AEROSPACE not just good, but great – we truly care about each other, and that care is carried forward to the quality of our work and how we treat our customers.