Servant Leaders Build Up, Power Leaders Tear Down

Servant Leaders Build Up, Power Leaders Tear DownRight Management recently reported that 84% of more than 1,400 employees surveyed, plan to look for new jobs in the upcoming year. This is up 24% from last year. Yes, we’ve faced difficult times, impressing upon many organizations extra work per employee, with fewer resources and reduced compensation. Unfortunately, that is where many leaders will explain the discontent from their employees – a result of the economy. Servant leaders, however, know better.

Yes, many people were happy to have any employment in recent years, but that 84% planning to make a move see greener grass somewhere. The difference comes from organizations that took these difficult times as opportunities to solidify and build up rather, than tear down.

Power Leaders Tear Down

As you heard before, it’s easy to be a power leader. These individuals thrive in downturns of the economy because all they know how to do is cut. They cut budgets, costs and employees. At the same time, they destroy morale, drain resources, explode partnerships and leave a shell of an organization behind. But these so-called leaders see the short term result of reduced overhead and declare victory. This is the result of the power leader’s tear down tactics.

Servant Leaders Build Up

In contrast to the tear down tactics of power-leaders, servant leaders saw the downturn in the economy as an opportunity to solidify core values, emphasize the importance of their people and clarify priorities. Sure, in some organizations servant leaders still had to take drastic measures including layoffs, but they did so with great transparency, candor and emphasis on the greater good. Organizations fortunate enough to have servant leaders already in place, are likely to benefit from these characteristics. Those without servant leaders will likely see a mass exodus as the economy continues to improve. The shift of greatest talent will be from power-led organizations to servant-led ones.

Companies Seek Servant Leaders

There will be an increase in demand for servant leaders, especially as the economy improves, power-based companies see their best talent walk and servant led companies benefit from their focus on sustainability. As organizations recognize their need to serve stake holders in good times and bad for the most sustainable success, they will seek to hire more servant leaders.

Sustainable Success Demands Servant Leadership

With the new year will come, hopefully, continued improvements in our global economy. As organizations seek to acquire and / or retain servant leadership for their success, it is important that we learn from lessons of the past. Servant leadership is not something you can start and stop – it requires a consistent dedication to the principles that will deliver sustainable success. However, organizations that make this commitment will not see the same valleys resulting from power-based trends during bad economic times. Instead, the organization promoting servant leadership will experience a consistent, sustainable model of success.

Question: Does your organization practice or seek servant leadership principles in both good and bad times?


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Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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