Serve People First

Serving People is the What

May 8, 2014 by Mark Kilens

Genuine leaders serve people first. A genuine leader’s purpose is her “why”, a leader’s principles is her “how”, and people are the “what”.

A genuine leader’s passion and calling is to serve people before himself. Think about this right now. Is your passion or calling to serve people?

A genuine leader will do whatever it takes to guide people to the destination, the purpose.

However, there is a balance that leaders must find. They must understand how much time should be devoted to serving others vs. serving themselves. When a leader serves others, in almost all cases, it will benefit the leader in some way. Leader will grow as a result of serving and developing their people, the team.

The Team vs. The “Customer”

Genuine leaders serve their team and they must also serve their customers.  There is always some type of “customer". They are the people that consume the things the team produces. A team might produce a physical good, a service, some type of entertainment, etc. No matter what it is, a team exists to produce results. A different group of people exist to consume what the team produces.

Think about football. A football team’s end result is either a win or a loss. A football team’s customers are the people that believe in and support the team’s purpose, its fan base.

Think about a business. A business is typically comprised of multiple teams. Those teams will each have different “customers” and will produce different results.  Maybe the result is outstanding customer service, a new product or a service offering.

No matter the team, there is always a result.

If there are no results, there’s not a chance the team could ever achieve its purpose. So therefore, there is no team without results.

The team must execute with excellence in order to produce the right type of results. Executing with excellence requires communication, planning and trust.

80% Leader, 20% Manager

A genuine leader is 80% leader and 20% manager. The leader spends the majority of her time inspiring people with the team’s purpose, educating people about the team principles and serving each team member.

If you’re a leader of a team, how much time do you spend leading? Take a moment and reflect.

A Leadership System

Purpose, Principles, and People are the genuine leader’s Leadership System.

The three levels are very powerful, yet very simple. The leader must constantly be educating and inspiring people - the team - about the purpose and the principles. A new leader will feel like he is constantly repeating himself, which is true.  But in actuality, he is just serving his team.  

Simplicity is a genuine leader’s secret weapon. The definition of simplicity is: the quality of being easy to understand or use, or something that is simple or ordinary but enjoyable. How much simplicity is present in your leadership approach today?

A Management System

A genuine leader manages her team 20% of the time. How should she manage her team?

Leaders should use a Management System. A Management System is there to serve the team. It’s a way to provide a clear communication, a way to plan and a way to build trust. These three things are necessary in order to execute with excellence.

Every team member must understand how other team members are executing their projects, milestones and goals with excellence.

A Management System will also communicate to the leader the work habits and personal goals of each team member.

A Management System provides the team with clear communication so that other team members know how projects are progressing.

A Management System must be simple. The Leadership System has three levels of hierarchy. A Management System has the same hierarchical structure.

In our next few articles, we’ll be discussing what the three levels of hierarchy are, and how to build and utilize a Management System.