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July 2008 - How to be a Servant-Leader

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.July 2008

How to be a Servant-Leader

Last October I wrote a column on servant-leadership. Since that time I have presented seminars to personnel in several corporations and government agencies on “How to be a Servant-Leader.”

My audiences have consisted mostly of entry, middle and upper level managers or supervisors. Many of these people protested, “I am a manager—I’m a supervisor—I don’t really consider myself to be a leader.” But the fact is whether people supervise or manage a small unit or a large agency, subordinates look to them for purpose and direction. They expect their managers or supervisors to demonstrate leadership; and the most effective leadership is servant-leadership.

How, then, does one become an effective servant-leader? It takes more than just wanting to be one. Desire is not enough—though it is a good start. You need three other things: character, competency and confidence. Character is who you are. Competency is what you can do.  Confidence is the belief you can lead others and the organization.

Leaders choose to serve because it is the best way they can serve others and serve the organization.  But to be effective they must have the competency or leadership skills and abilities to lead; they must possess strong character—the moral, ethical and spiritual values necessary to lead; finally, they must have confidence they can lead—both to lead effectively and to inspire others to follow them.
John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2006 - Motivating Others: Communicate Clearly
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