I think it was Kate Taylor or maybe it was Jon Lever who announced to the APC candidates I was revising with, that we were all leaders. That is what Chartered Surveyors are.
I’d always leaned into helping, developing, bringing people on to be better. I have managed and led multiple teams throughout my career always putting people first.
To make things better than when I found them.
I just didn’t know it had a label.
I was serving to lead.
If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.John Quincy Adams
I am often heard saying that ‘we rise by lifting others up’. Its not a buzz phrase, I truly believe it. For me leadership has always been about serving first, delivering through others, getting the best out of people by being in it together.
Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.Simon Sinek
Servant leaders hold two common and fundamental beliefs – every person has value and deserves trust, civility and respect; and people can accomplish much when inspired by purpose beyond themselves.
I define servant leadership as a persons dedication to helping others be their best selves.S Chris Edmonds, The Culture Engine
Servant leaders tend to listen intently and observe. They act as selfless mentors. They are tenacious and invest whatever time is necessary to educate and inspire. They hold themselves accountable, push for higher standards of performance quality and alignment of values.
But it requires time and conscious choice to not be the top of the pyramid. My natural state may be in service and collaboration but my learned behaviours have some bad habits which I am learning to break.
You have to think about WHY you do what you do?
For me the first job is to empower people – to build and support other leaders to follow. I am realising it is all about intentionality and heart change:
- Prioritise people;
- Be intentional;
- Think differently;
- Evaluate outcomes;
- Everyone’s role is important;
- If you have something share it;
- If you need something ask for it;
- Don’t point fingers, no blame here;
- Say thank you – have an attitude of gratitude;
- Acknowledge people with a smile;
- ASK – How can I help, what can I do?;
- It’s about what you can give not get;
- It is transformative not transactional;
- Significance or substance over success or style;
- Purpose not numbers.
He that thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.John C Maxwell
One final thought. There is nothing wrong with career mindedness and seeking success…it’s great. But for me I am striving to achieve a balance between success and the satisfaction that I made a difference the right way and lived my values. My measure of success isn’t what I achieve it’s what the people I help achieve.
At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished…it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better, it’s about what you’ve given back.Denzel Washington
So often self centred managers are incorrectly dubbed leaders because they produce results. But at what cost? It simply isn’t sustainable and constant pushing leads to burn out and negativity.
Success isn’t about climbing over people to get there or using connections to get what you want.
No narcissists here. No winning at any cost. No emphasis on personal success over anyone else. No toxic hierarchical cultures.
It’s about a satisfying sustainable career through raising people up.
We are in this together.