Jennifer Biry, CFO of AT&T Technology and Operations, is a strong believer in servant leadership, an approach that encourages leaders to prioritize the needs of their colleagues and the organization at large – over their personal desires. While the archetypal all-powerful boss holds a prominent place in our collective psyche, contemporary business is making room for a new boss personality that is a little less, well… bossy. According to Biry’s recent Entrepreneur article,
Leadership styles are like fingerprints. They leave an unmistakable mark on whatever they touch and are unique to each individual. And while we don’t get to choose our fingerprints, we do get to choose how we lead those around us.
In Biry’s experience, servant leadership is the most effective strategy when it comes to leading in a healthy, holistic manner that produces quality results. Although it may be tempting to let the boss role inflate one’s ego, Biry encourages humility coupled with confidence. In the end, pride and assumption don’t go very far when it comes to gaining trust and viewing challenging situations clearly. Prioritizing intuition over control, receptivity over dictation, and major goals over minor details can go a long way when it comes to building higher quality relationships with both within – and without – the walls of your organization.
5 key practices can help anyone to evolve into more of a servant leader:
- Be humble
- Trust your team
- Lead from the back of the room
- Set a broad vision
- Develop future leaders
We highly recommend that leaders try following these guidelines if they’re interested in empowering their employees and creating an atmosphere of sincere collaboration. Exercising these fundamentals is a key step leaders can take when it comes to building a healthy community – rather than a dictatorship where a proud boss reigns over quiet but resentful or unmotivated employees. In Biry’s own words,
Practicing these behaviors will bolster your team’s success and foster an environment of respect across your organization. You’ll be seen as a leader, not as a boss. Take some time to step back, assess your leadership style and look for ways to improve. Is there room for more humility? Can you relinquish some control? And are you personally invested in every employee’s success? Ask yourself these questions and then make it a priority to empower your team. Once you start “walking the walk” of servant leadership, you’ll see your people shine.
Reflect on your own leadership tendencies. Are you more of a listener or do you assume that you already know how your employees feel? Do you want to empower your employees or are you motivated by personal power gains? Do you trust your team? Do you need to be the center of attention or do you feel comfortable letting your employees shine? Are you more concerned about your personal advancement or are you truly interested in bettering corporate culture on a broader scale?
We at MeetingPulse believe in continuous growth, positive development, and healthy leadership techniques. Corporate culture and technology are constantly changing; as leaders we have to exercise adaptability whether we like it or not. Rigid leaders are more subject to breakage, whereas softness allows us to respond organically to our environment in a safer and more sustainable way. We encourage leaders everywhere to take Biry’s advice to heart. Together, we have the power to create healthier work environments through the implementation of quality leadership strategies.
At MeetingPulse, we believe in humble bosses, open communication, and collaboration. We provide easy-to-use interactive tools that support healthy corporate culture for employees and administration alike. If you want to know more about your employees’ thoughts, ideas, and preferences, get more involved in organizational feedback by trying out our browser-based response system. We provide real-time survey and polling software via any device, so your audience will never need to download an app. Contact us for more information on how to improve your communication – along with your corporate culture – or click on ‘Keep Me Posted’ on our blog page to receive blog updates and our free ebook.