Working for a Successful Leader

Characteristics of the Servant-Leader

1. Listening: Servant-leaders focus on listening to identify and clarify the needs and desires of a group.
2. Empathy: Servant-Leaders try to empathize with others feelings and emotions. An individual’s good intentions are assumed even when he or she performs poorly.
3. Healing: Servant-leaders strive to make themselves and others whole in the face of failure or suffering.
4. Awareness: Servant-leaders are very self-aware of their strengths and limitations
5. Persuasion: Servant-leaders rely more on persuasion than positional authority when making decisions and trying to influence others.
6. Conceptualization: Servant-leaders take the time and effort to develop broader based conceptual thinking. Servant-leaders seek an appropriate balance between a short-term, day-to-day focus and a long-term, conceptual orientation.
7. Foresight: Servant-leaders have the ability to foresee future outcomes associated with current course of action or situation.
8. Stewardship: Servant-leaders assume that they are stewards of the people and resources they manage.
9. Commitment to the growth of people: Servant-leaders are committed to people beyond their immediate work role. They commit to fostering an environment that encourages personal, professional and spiritual growth.
10. Building community: Servant-leaders strive to create a sense of community both within and outside of the work organization.

Listening: Sam Walton located his stores in a central area so that it could be reached by a variety of people. He made his prices low, and offered a variety of products so that it would appeal to everyone.

Building Community: Sam Walton displayed the characteristic of building community by being a part of the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce in Bentonville, AK. He also provided scholarships for high school graduates from local schools.

“his extraordinary charisma had motivated hundreds of thousands of employees to believe in what Wal-Mart could accomplish and many of them had ridden the company’s stock to wealth.” John Huey Time magazine ‘Sam Walton: Made in America’

Foresight: Sam Walton had amazing business foresight. In 1966, when he had 20 stores, he attended an IBM class in New York. The goal of attending this class was to hire the smartest person in the class and having them computerize Wal-Mart’s operations. He realized that he could not grow at the pace he wanted to grow at, so he decided to computerize the whole operation. Wal-Mart became an icon of just-in-time inventory. Which is an inventory ordering system that orders inventory just as they need it. It lowers the amount of space you need to hold excess inventory and the cost for doing so. “Walton may have been the first true information-age CEO.” (John Huey)

Commitment to the growth of people: In 1992 he was awarded the Golden Star Foreigner's Award in the People's Republic of China, for his 'tireless assistance in the development of People's owned factories in the Suzhou area." In the same year he was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George Bush.

Persuasion: Walton offered managers the opportunity to become limited partners if they would invest in the store they oversaw and then invest a maximum of $1,000 in new outlets as they opened. This motivated the managers to always try to maximize profits and improve their managerial skills.

4 Step Process to a Leader Follower Relationship

1. It is critical for followers to understand their boss. Followers should attempt to gain an appreciation for their manager's leadership style, interpersonal style, goals, expectations, pressures and strengths and weaknesses

2. Followers need to understand their own style, needs, goals, expectations, and strength's and weaknesses.

3. Conduct a gap analysis between the understanding a follower has about his or her boss and the understanding the follower has abour him or herself. With this information in mind, followers are ready to proceed to the final step of developing and maintaining a relationship that fits both parties needs and styles.

4. Requires followers to build on mutual strengths and to adjust of accommodate the leader's divergent style, goals, expectations, and weaknesses.