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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher. In this episode, Jeff once again sits down with Dan Billie. Dan has over 20 years of leadership experience and is particularly passionate about the benefits of servant leadership. In this episode, Dan and Jeff explain some of the strengths and weaknesses of servant leadership and some of the misconceptions people have about the approach. Servant leadership is not a moment or a reaction. You can’t decide to practice servant leadership for a moment or a brief period of time and then go back to a dictatorial period of time. It is doing what you would have others do and leading from the front. The deposits that servant leaders make in their teams have an enormous ROI. When you have a team that is unified by servant leadership, they are willing to do what needs to be done to get the task done. If you help people get what you want, they will help you get what you want. - Zig Ziglar Some people worry that you lose your authority if you practice servant leadership. This is not the case! It is never too late to incorporate servant leadership into your leadership strategy. Misconceptions about servant leaders:

  • They are weak.

  • They all have a passive personality.

  • They are pushovers.

  • They are unassertive.

Servant Leadership is a necessary part of your leadership strategy, even if you do not have a passive personality. Q: Have you recognized leaders in your life utilizing servant leadership? Would you define them as weak? Why or why not? How have your previous experiences with servant leaders shaped your opinion on servant leadership and your willingness to use the approach? Benefits of Servant Leadership Builds Morale

  • Servant Leaders don’t have all the answers.

  • They know that when they are vulnerable and humble themselves in front of their people.

  • They allow other people to contribute and creates civil discourse and better solutions.

Builds Trust

  • People know that even if you don’t agree, you are always allowed to speak your mind and know that you will be listened to.

  • Building trust is easy. Have a team meeting and give everyone the opportunity to give their opinion on a relevant topic. It does not have to be complicated. Pick easy questions.

  • Then people will be willing to follow you in crisis

Builds New Leaders

  • Leaders do not have to be in leadership positions.

  • When you act as a servant leader, you can have an influence in situations where you are not the boss.

Builds Collaboration Increases Perspective When you are a servant leader and you earn the hearts and minds of the people, you make people want to work for you, not because you are their boss but because you don’t want to let them down. Q: Which of these benefits have you seen in your own life? Describe a time when you were willing to stay late to finish a project because you valued your leader? What did they do that motivated you? The best leaders balance motivation, confrontation, and discipline. Servant leaders motivate their teams by setting their eyes on your organization’s future goals. When you confront them, it is because there is infighting, people are not focused, or they are acting selfishly. Any time you confront or discipline, follow the praise, confront/disciple, praise formula to make sure that they do not lose their motivation. Then give them an opportunity to get out of the negative situation. Directive leaders cause people to deflect or defend when they confront or discipline people. When a servant leader disciplines, people feel disappointed in themselves and want to do better for the good of the team and the leader. Advice for Servant Leaders:

  • Don’t use servant leadership when you are facing a safety issue or other critical situation, like an issue with a major account.

  • Sometimes servant leaders try to treat everyone the same way. You need to acknowledge that some people respond better to different styles and need to be treated based on their own personality and their tenure.

  • Be inclusive to everyone regardless of how they react to you. If you don’t, people won’t trust each other because they will think you have favorites.

  • Listen more than you talk. Don’t interrupt others.

  • Correct privately.

  • Empathize and show people that you have been in their shoes before.

  • Seek understanding, even if you think you already know the answer.

  • Work on being self-aware and humbly identifying your blind spots.

  • Don’t be afraid to use self-deprecating humor. Don’t take everything so seriously.

  • Build a safe place for your team.

  • Work on vision casting. Where there is no vision, people perish.

  • Make your wins are your team’s wins.

  • Perform small acts of kindness.

Q: Which tip above stands out to you most? Pick one tip. How do you think your leadership would change if you applied that one tip over the next few months? Application Activities:

  1. Pick one tip from the list above and add it to your goals for the quarter. Using the SMART goals framework, create a plan to improve in that area.

  2. Evaluate your vision for the quarter. Servant leaders make sure that their team is involved in the success of the goals and helps them own their unique role. How can you make your goals your team’s goals? Spend some time strategically considering how to motivate your team when you cast the vision for the quarter. Remember that not everyone is motivated by the same things, so you should consider the unique personalities on your team as you prepare.

  3. What acts of kindness can you do throughout the first quarter of the year for your team? Assign one team member to each week of the quarter and intentionally perform one act of kindness each week. But don’t limit yourself to one week! Stay alert for ways that you can show kindness throughout the quarter. For example, sending flowers to an employee who experiences a loss in their family or buying lunch for an employee who is giving extra effort.

Resources Referenced in this Podcast Servant Leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness by Robert Greenleaf Leadership books by Ken Blanchard Connect with Jeff Instagram: @thechampionforum Facebook: The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher Email:

JANUARY 2, 2020


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