Many organizations look like this.  

There is a CEO at the very top, then as we move down the triangle, there are vice presidents and other senior leaders, then below them are supervisors, and finally you have the front line.

This week we’re exploring five lessons which have helped PCI survive and thrive over the last 100 years.  Today, we turn to servant leadership. 

Lesson #2: Servant leadership turns the traditional leadership model above on its head.

In a servant leadership organization, the job of the CEO is to serve the vice presidents.  Their job is to serve and support the supervisors.  And, their job is to serve, support, and remove obstacles so the front line can do their job.

Because that’s where business is happening!  

The client is at the very top of the organization chart.  At PCI, all 420 of us are charged with supporting the 10,000 conversations we have each day with our clients.

Here’s what makes servant leadership so powerful.  In the traditional, top-down organization, the CEO and a handful of other senior leaders have “leadership” in their job description.

In a servant-leadership organization, everyone has leadership in their job description.  Leadership isn’t a title.  It’s a mindset.

Leadership is not about “command-and-control.”  It’s about showing up with a positive, can-do attitude.  It’s about coming up with new ideas and new approaches – especially when the chips are down.  It’s about supporting, inspiring, mentoring, and helping colleagues realize their potential.  

That’s servant-leadership in action – and it’s available to everybody.

Who’s going to win in the marketplace?  The organization with a handful of leaders or the organization where everyone is expected to be a leader every single day?


Reflection:  How might I encourage more people in my organization to see leadership as a mindset, not a title?

Action:  Have a discussion with a colleague or my team about servant leadership.

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