Manager or Servant

There are many ways to get to the top.  No one really stops and thinks the individual with the servant attitude will get there.  It doesn’t seem prudent to lift others up if you would like to advance yourself. So can someone really be a servant manager? Or a servant leader? Does that really work in the real world of business?

Let’s define a good leader as someone who is more concerned with the needs of his followers than of his own needs.

A good manager then, first and foremost, is a good leader.  Do you know the difference?  A leader is someone who has gained followers.  A manager is someone who has authority over people.  A manager could also have followers, but could simply be leaning on authority to lead.

You can be a manager without being a good leader, but you can’t be a GOOD manager without being a good leader.  You can’t be a good leader unless you’re in it to serve.  In my career I have witnessed multiple people who got to the top not by pushing, but simply by doing the right things.   A characteristic of these people that progressed in this fashion is that others deeply supported them.  People wanted to work for them.  They even wanted to stay working for them parallel to other very poor conditions in the working environment.

I’ve heard many times that people say you don’t choose a job, you choose a boss.  Think about the boss that you want to have?  Are you that person for others?  Do your reports think that you will have their back both at work and in their home life?  Learning to serve others even when in a place of authority over them will lead to great relationships and will create followers that also have your back.

If you want to get to the top, do you think having your peers turned against you because of your narcissism is a good start?  Drop the whole intimidate and impress your way to the top.  See what it does for you.  If you work for a place where that forceful method works, then you will be pushing your way into a trap. You won’t be able to expect supportive and encouraging relationships with your new peers and bosses if they require to to compromise relationships to join their ranks.

However, if you are pushed to the top by people who you’ve earned the trust of, who like you and are willing to follow you, then you will likely have a much better experience.  You won’t be at the top watching your back while looking down on all the people you stepped on along the way.  You will be looking out at your supporters and your fans. That is a good place to be!

Focus on fulfilling other’s needs and watch what that does for your own life.  Show yourself to be a leader who cares about others.  If that gets you into a management position, continue that mindset to earn your leadership. You will enjoy the view from above knowing you went on an excellent journey to get there!


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