A Serving Leader vs. a Self-serving Leader:
Sees and shapes the future, Engages and develops others,
Values results and relationships, and Embodies the values.
The Secret, Mark Miller (Chick-fil-A) & Ken Blanchard
Recently my company paid for myself and co-workers to spend a day learning about leadership. It was one of the best leadership conferences that I have participated in very long time. The one thing that really struck me was the theme of serving others. In 2010, we are in a desperate need of Leadership Serving. I have personally experienced the power of leadership serving in my industry and specifically in my territory over the past few months. Working in Pharmaceutical Sales I observe daily that my customers highly value their time. Like many others in my business we always desire respect our customers and add value when we meet them. It very easy to have an agenda because of the small amount of time I get with each customer. W hen I do get that opportunity to talk to a customer I find myself naturally thinking of what they can do for me instead of what I can do for them. It has been important for me to realize that my customers and staff are people that I need to serve everyday and see that there needs are met with the resources that my company can provide.
By serving them and listening to what problems they are having allows me to better understand their life and hopefully bring a solution to their problems. Having a Leadership Serving attitude has brought me into a better relationship with my customers because they can trust me that I am putting them first. By intentionally putting them first and meeting their needs through serving them will ultimately meet my sales goals and contribute my company’s bottom line. Peter Drucker says that while profit is required for business, it is not the true purpose of business. “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.”
At Chick-fil-A I have observed Leadership Serving modeled through their people in simple ways. Chick-fil-A employees are always trying to make sure that my diet-coke is refilled; that I have enough napkins and enough sauce for my nuggets. I have noticed the words they choose “How may I serve you?” consistently coming out with a smile and saying “My Pleasure”. I have also looked to Christ to see how his ultimately can be done. We can see in Philippians 2: 5-7 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Leadership Serving is another way to exemplify Christ and give HIM the Glory in the face of this greedy, fast pace, profit driven culture that we live in.