Bill Flint Jr, author of “The Journey to Competetive Advantage through Servant Leadership” mailed me a copy of his book, personally signing it with this beautiful sentence – “Raj, Servant Leaders lead to make a difference in people’s lives” and I thought this sentence pretty much nailed down what leadership is all about. A lot of folks have problem with the word “Servant” prefixed to Leadership and think this is really an oxymoron. On the contrary, as I have said before, the only authentic way to lead is to lead with heart, to lead with awareness, to lead consciously….the concepts of servant leadership are aligned with True North principles.
In a recent article in The Atlanta Journal, author Pujan Roka writes about the difficulty in understanding Servant Leadership. He writes:
“For many organizations, servant leadership remains an illusive topic…..true service is the work done to make a difference in peoples lives whether they are customers or any stakeholders.”
With over 38 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, having led more than a thousand associates across geographies, Bill, brings his vast experience and his belief system to this book. He makes a strong case for Servant Leadership, first explaining the principles of Servant Leadership and then building upon them to explain how the principles can help leaders have a positive impact on their people and company, and how one can build a culture that allows people to thrive and thereby in turn help produce results for the company. Where Bill really makes a difference is that he so very often switches gears and puts on his hat of running a business and looks at every issue from the challenges that someone running a business may face and then brings in a view point of how Servant Leadership concepts can help in dealing with the issue.Written in a very easy going style, Bill intermingles it with his own life experiences that enriches the book.
As I read the book, the chapter “HR needs a stronger voice” resonated with me…listen to this as he articulates, what I think should be mandatory reading for all senior leadership:
“Senior Leadership, you need to let the people in HR do the job thet were hired to do: help you manage, lead and develop the people who come through your doors every day to work. Listen to HR when they tell you about the morale issues that are getting in the way of the company achieving better results. Listen when they tell you about managers and leaders who need help or aren’t getting the job done in leading people. Listen to them when they bring recommendations for training courses that people need. Give them training budgets they need to make a difference in people’ lives and the company’s results…..”
This book comes straight from heart and is a welcome addition to the list of books on Servant Leadership.
Bill is on twitter at @FlintPartners