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and move from “I” to “we” leaders? How can we live the principles rather than just pay lip service to them? How do we shift the focus from our success to the success of others? Remembering that just because we think we can do some things bet- ter than others, it doesn’t mean we should and this is one of the most basic ways we serve our teams. We need to constantly remind ourselves that we are the custodians of our teams, not the controllers. It’s imper- ative to serve with and for our team in order to keep the organization thriving, relevant, and successful.  

 it’s about serving the folks on your team. This is a very simple concept, but one many people overlook. The sooner people realize it, the faster they become leaders.” Being a servant leader is a life-long journey in which every day, and

in every way, we must remember and practice the guiding principles of Servant Leadership: 1. Listening. Traditionally, leaders have been valued for their com-

munication and decision-making skills. Servant leaders must reinforce these important skills by making a deep commitment to listening in- tently to others. Servant leaders seek to identify and clarify the will of the group. Ask questions, instead of providing solutions in group settings. The next time you want to instinctively provide someone the solution, stop and ask them a question as to his or her opinion for the  2. Empathy. Servant leaders strive to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and recognized for their spe- cial and unique spirit. It’s important to assume the good intentions of  to reject or call into question their behavior or performance. 3. Building community. Servant leaders have a strong sense of com-

munity spirit and work hard to foster it into an organization. They demonstrate this by building an organization that functions as a com- munity. 4. Awareness. General awareness, and especially self-awareness,

   


      awareness for what is going on? Servant leaders have a strong sense of what is happening around them. They are always looking for cues related to their opinions and decisions, and because of this, they know what’s going on and will rarely be fooled. 5. Persuasion. Servant leaders rely on persuasion, rather than po- sitional authority in making decisions. They seek to convince others,  consensus within groups. 6. Conceptualization. Servant leaders seek to nurture their creative abilities to “dream great dreams.” They have the ability to look at the organization, and any issues within the organization, from a concep- tual perspective. This means the leader must think beyond day-to-day realities and seek a delicate balance between conceptualization and day-to-day focus. 7. Foresight. Foresight is a characteristic that enables servant leaders to understand lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequences of a decision in the future. Having this fore- sight is deeply rooted in the intuitive mind. 8. Growth. Servant leaders have a strong commitment to the growth

 -  their true potential. 9. Stewardship. Taking responsibility for the actions and perfor- mance of your team is essential. This might be the only time “I” is acceptable language as a leader, as in I am ultimately accountable for   where we made mistakes. Servant leadership is about setting people up  skills and potential of those you lead by asking them where they want and what they need to thrive. 10. Calling. Servant leaders have a natural desire to serve others.

The notion of having a calling to serve is deeply rooted and value  organization that will impact the lives of employees, the organization and the community … never for their own gain. It takes courage and vulnerability to be a true servant leader. We

have to fully show up and risk being completely transparent when de- veloping the leaders of tomorrow. Brene Brown, in her ground-break-  like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Above all, servant leadership is about being human. It is being hon-

  showing up every day, wholeheartedly and warmheartedly. It is walk- ing the walk in the shoes of your team. It is making an emotional connection with your people. It is genuine care and concern for every member of the organization. It is compassion and it focuses on others 

Martin Luther King said, “Life’s most urgent question is, what are

you doing for others?” As servant leaders, the most important thing we can say every day

and to everyone is, “What can I do for YOU?” These principles set forth standards to live by every day as you con-

tinue your journey of servant leadership. Choose for yourself whom you will serve. FM

Kathy Kramer, CFE, CFEE, CMP, is CEO, OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California.


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