The Servant Leader

May 14, 2018


This week I was visiting with a company whose third-generation leaders aspire to increase employee engagement by developing the leadership skills of their 70+ mid-level leaders. With that context, I was asking workplace culture questions to better understand where they had been and what might be challenging in their future.

During the discussion, a statement stopped me in my tracks and the subsequent explanation had me wanting to go out and buy stock in the company. They said they had a culture of generosity and further explained the commitment they have to the community and the community’s support of their employees and customers. This commitment reaches to employees who have special needs or must respond to family emergencies by having shifts covered and wages paid. The examples went on for nearly ten minutes and illustrated how the commitment reaches well beyond the immediate stakeholders.

This is a powerful example of an aspect of culture that is real and lived rather than displayed on a sign or bragged about and used as a recruiting tool. It is an unspoken yet resounding principle that permeates all onboarding and development training, and more importantly is experienced through real world application. It made my week, and what an honor it is to be working with such an inspirational organization.

As a servant leader, I endeavor to be useful, so I can be helpful and then of service to others’ success. How about you? What assumptive values are a part of your culture, either by design or passed down through the generations? Send me a note and let me know how your culture supports your employees and your community.


John Rodgers

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