Usually, when speaking of servant leadership, we refer to the leader as an individual. For example, “he or she is a servant leader”. Then, organizations that emphasize servant leadership as a core attribute of its people are inherently, servant led organizations. So then, how does an organization reflect servant leadership to the community? I recently had the opportunity to experience a great example…
Seneca College Example
Last week, I spoke at the Seneca School of Hospitality & Tourism’s Industry Think Tank. They asked me to speak about service leadership in their industry, as the school has put this at the core of everything they do. Naturally, I was thrilled, as I always am, to learn of new organizations that appreciate and advocate servant leadership principles.
The event was an example of servant leadership in practice. The school invited leaders from their industry to an open discussion about the school, its plans and its opportunities. There were round table discussions about the future of the industry, delivering value to all who attended. There were also open polling questions, asking the community how the school could better serve them and their students in the future.
Throughout the dialog, it was clear Seneca was there to serve their students, their industry and their community to the best ability possible. The administration and faculty were open and interested in discussing the challenges and opportunities.
Lessons for Your Organization
1. Initiate a dialog: Reach out to your stakeholders. Ask them what you can do to better serve them.
2. Invite your team to the discussion: Conduct the conversation across a broad group of your team members.
3. Capture the feedback: Show your stakeholders you are listening by presenting back what you heard.
4. Take action: Based on the feedback, show progress to the community with changes to help better serve and lead your stakeholders.
So, if you’re looking for the organization to reflect servant leadership to the community, consider this example by Seneca College. Then, establish your own, industry think tank.
Question: What are some other ways an organization may demonstrate servant leadership?