Do people do things for you because they WANT to or because they feel they HAVE to? One of the characteristics of a Servant Leader is Persuasion. Robert Greenleaf (1970) said that effective leaders learn how to persuade others to work toward agreed upon goals. Many leaders fall into the mistake of mandating behaviors from their followers. Research on generations tells us that this type of leadership is no longer effective. The new generation of workers does not necessarily do the job because “the boss says to.” Instead, the younger workers need to know how their work contributes to the overall mission and vision of the organization. Thus, the leader needs to know how to persuade and communicate the importance of each person’s efforts toward meeting goals.
People want to know that their efforts contribute to the overall success of organizations and society as a whole. When people understand that their work is important, they tend to give 100% effort. Do you take the time to explain to others how important they are and how their work contributes to the overall goals of the company? Do you seek to convince others that the organization is making a positive difference in society?
Communicating the vision and mission of organizations is important as well as connecting the work that each individual contributes to that vision and mission. Effective leaders take the time to comprehensively communicate how and why each task is important to the organization. In addition, effective leaders connect the vision and mission of the organization to a positive contribution to society.
In order to be a more effective leader, we must continually develop our leadership skills. We are the example for others to follow and we must learn how to use our skills in order to effectively help others grow. The following tips can help as we develop leadership skills.
· Don’t demand!
· Build positive relationships with others
· Communicate effectively
· Listen to others
Baggerly-Hinojosa (2010). Are You a 10? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. USA:Lulu Press.Greenleaf, Robert (1970). Servant Leadership. USA: Paulist Press.