Note: This post is the fourth in a series of Servant Leadership Lessons from the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2010

Mark SanbornMark Sanborn had many great phrases and memorable leadership quotes. In fact, Mark’s website includes the subheading, “Leadership doesn’t make a difference, it is the difference.” How true that is, at every level of the organization. His presentation focused on leaders as story builders, improvers and tellers. Below are highlights from Mark’s presentation:

Making a Better Story

  • “Leaders don’t just tell a better story, they make the story better.”
  • “We want leaders who can help us make our stories better than they would have been.”
  • “…Consider your life (to be) a non-fiction book on the shelf of the bookstore of the world.”
  • “Are you a better person because of your manager?”
    • The above is a question Sanborn asks employees of managers confidentially
    • Are you treating your employees like a WIP or WAC?
      • WIP= Work In Progress – how we often view ourselves
      • WAC=Works Already Completed – how we often look at others.
        • “Why do we treat them (those we meet) as foregone conclusions rather than a future possibility?”
        • “…it’s called Leadership not Controllership”
        • “The antidote to ‘stuck’ is hope.”
        • “You, as a leader, might have to resell people on their own value… You might have to renarrate their story…You might have misinterpreted your own story”
  • “Reenergize people by giving them hope… Hope is having something new try and be willing to try.
      • A future that is different than the one they currently occupy
      • “Refocus people from current struggles to future hopes.”
  • “Redefine Failure”
    • “Failure is something that happens to you, not something you are…Failures are indicators you are making progress”
    • “Your resume is current until the day you retire. Your legacy will live beyond you.”
    • “We as leaders need to pay attention to how our stories are affecting others.”

C.R.A.F.T. Model

  • Catch
    • Catch the other person’s story
    • Requires slowing down, make space to catch the other person’s story
  • Respond
    • Don’t reject the story
    • People have no reason to change until we accept them
  • Ask
    • Ask questions
    • What is your greatest hope here (at organization / business)?
  • Feel
    • Listen with your heart.
    • A cynic is a passionate person that doesn’t want to be disappointed with you.
  • Tell
    • Tell your Story
    • That’s where you find the connectivity
    • The focus is not on you or what you learned – but on how they can be better (their story can be better) because of what you learned in your story

I am grateful to Mark for his participation in the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast and especially enjoyed his CRAFT model. I see great alignment here with servant leadership principles.

More From Mark Sanborn

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