Commentary

January 25, 2013

Servant-leadership style worthwhile, effective

Maj. SCOTT LAFONT
56th Dental Squadron

I’ve spent 21 years in the military, serving as both an enlisted member and an officer. I’ve seen “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” of leadership styles.
However, the most worthwhile and effective styles of leadership I’ve seen is the servant leader. I have read many books on the servant leader style, and I believe it is compatible with both military and civilian organizations. The following points highlight my perspective on servant leadership:

  • Serve first. These leaders choose to be a servant first. They seek to involve others in decision-making, consistently display ethical and caring behavior, and strive to improve the quality of organizational life.
  • Clear vision. Every leader should develop and communicate a clear vision for the organization. The vision provides a framework for goals and gives structure during times of crisis.
  • Values. These are the nonnegotiable principles that define the character of the individual and organization. Shared values are essential for keeping the organization working together with purpose. Example: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.
  • Listen and learn. Servant leaders take time to intently listen to others. They want to see and hear the nonverbal and verbal. They know they cannot get this from email, texts or tweets.
  • Adapt. Today’s leaders deal with a diverse and multigenerational population. They must approach and motivate personnel in different ways. They must adapt to meet a variety of management challenges.
  • Plan for succession. Servant leaders cultivate the personal and professional growth of their colleagues. Motivated by concern for subordinates and the future of the organization, they are aware of their responsibility to mentor tomorrow’s leaders.
  • Do as you say. Servant leaders live by the same standards they set for others to follow knowing that their credibility hangs on their consistency.
  • Cultivate creativity. Saying, “That’s how we have always done it,” is a dead-end. Leaders must be willing to see change as good and to promote the expression of ideas. Subordinates should be seen as potential resources.
  • Know your personnel. Servant leaders make an effort to ask their personnel about their likes, dislikes, family and interests. It’s not always about business. Teams are built on relationships.
  • Relax. To consistently perform at a high level, leaders must live a balanced life. They take their job seriously, but also take time to recharge.

As Ken Blanchard wrote in The Servant Leader, leadership is an, “influence process — anytime you are trying to influence the thoughts and actions of others toward goal accomplishment in either their personal or professional life you are engaging in leadership.”

So whether you are a flight commander, an airman or a parent teaching a child to read, you can influence someone.

You can be a leader. How will you lead?




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Planning for your future equals success

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” ~ William Arthur Ward Success does not happen accidentally, it takes detailed planning and a vision of the future. I remember the day before I left for basic military training, I tried to imagine what my future...
 
 

Tuition assistance — a great benefit

In my opinion, tuition assistance is one of the best benefits that we as active-duty military members have available. During my 17 years in the Air Force, I have seen this benefit increase from 75 percent of tuition being paid to 100 percent. Additionally, most of us experienced this benefit being eliminated for a short...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Last week I quoted Dr. Billy Graham who said, “Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for goodness.” We saw the necessity of forgiveness in all relationships, including personal and divine. Forgiveness allows our relationships to flourish, while a refusal to forgive brings toxicity. The second part of Dr....
 

 

Fly Over: ‘Divergent’ and ‘NO Excuses’

On Netflix ‘Divergent’ After a devastating war that is believed to have destroyed most of the world, a sole colony has survived and thrived, safe-guarded by a giant wall encircling the city. The founders of the city created five factions in which to divide the population based on aptitude scores which determine the faction best...
 
 
History_56-FG-Eggebek-Raid-Flyers

This week in history

April 13, 1945: Raid on Eggebek Seventy years ago this week, the war in Europe was winding down. Late afternoon April 12, 1945, in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Franklin Roosevelt died. At Royal Air Force Boxted in England, ...
 
 

308th FS rich history, poignant ending

After 21 years of continuous service as an F-16 Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, the 308th Fighter Squadron, recently recognized the 2014 Top Fighter Squadron in the 56th Operations Group, will close its doors this summer. Given this sad fact, it is only appropriate that this week’s Thunderbolt commentary focus on this highly...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin