I read an interesting article earlier this week that explored the notion of servant leaders. Generally, organisational charts show leaders at the top. Leadership is changing with a growing view that leaders act in service of others, i.e., servant leadership.

Let’s spend a few moments and unpick this. Organisational charts are often unhelpful, yet I saw an example where a CEO and her leadership team were at the base with responsibility for getting the best out of people in service of purpose and social impact.

So how do we get the best from the people we serve? My research suggests the following:

  • Be honest and ethical.
  • Show personal vulnerability – after all, we are all human beings!
  • Look for and celebrate the best in people.

It’s also about support, and this is where both Coaching and Mentoring are so important. Coaching gets to the core of creating personal responsibility and accountability and, therefore, ownership to transform and change! Yet a great coach will hold people to deliver upon agreements.

Mentoring is closely aligned with experience, advice, and passing those on to others.

Both are essential leadership skills in the service of others. Sometimes that also means having courageous conversations, but not conversations that undermine or destroy confidence or ability.

John Moran