Servant Leadership: Each of Us Has an Opportunity to Serve

A Guest Article By Ken Blanchard

Sometimes when I’m leading a session for a big group of managers, I’ll ask, “How many of you think of yourself as a leader?” Usually, only about one-third of them raise their hands. Somehow they think the word leader is reserved for high-level positions like president or CEO.

Book cover for Ken Blanchard's Servant Leadership In Action

But each of us has the ability to influence someone else, whether it be a co-worker, a child at home, a spouse, or a friend. Anytime you are trying to influence the thinking, beliefs, or development of another person, you are engaging in leadership. Of course, there are traditional organizational leadership responsibilities that involve goals and objectives, but if you think beyond those confines, you’ll realize that everyone is a leader—you are a leader—unless you’re stranded on an island by yourself!

I’m always reminded of this when I ask people to tell me about someone who has influenced them and had a positive impact on their life. They seldom mention traditional leaders at work. They usually talk about parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, coaches, or teachers.  The one characteristic common among all of these influencers?  Their interest in helping the other person develop.

The truth is that we are all trying to influence people, whether it is in the office, at home, or with friends.  But we need to pay attention to how we do it. Are we there to serve or to be served? The most effective leaders know that true leadership is about serving and impacting people in a positive way. It’s about letting people know that you want to help them be the best they can be and that you truly care about them.

Ken Blanchard quote on making the world a better place

Even if you don’t have a traditional leadership role right now, chances are you are playing a significant role in the life of another person.  Identify it, claim it, and recognize the impact you can have in someone else’s life.

This is a guest article by Ken Blanchard and originally appeared on the Ken Blanchard Companies Blog. Ken, one of the most influential leadership experts in the world, is the coauthor of the iconic bestseller The New One Minute Manager® and more than sixty other books with combined sales of more than twenty-one million copies in forty-two languages. In 2005 he was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top twenty-five bestselling authors of all time. His newest book, Servant Leadership in Action, is a collaborative piece with other leadership influencers and shares lessons to help achieve great relationships and results.

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