02 February, 2010

LEADERSHIP BY THE BOOK By Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, and Phil Hodges

Reviewed by Mrs. Ancy Radhakrishnan

Ken Blanchard is explaining the characteristics of a SERVENT LEADER by considering Jesus as a leadership model and BIBLE as the textbook. According to him faith walk leadership meant not to convert leaders into Christianity but use the wisdom of Jesus to solve various problems related to customer services, business ethics and personal integrity.

There are two kinds of leaders: those who are leaders first and those who are servants first. People who are leaders first are possessive about their leadership position and they don’t like feedback. They are considering feedback as threat to their position.

Servant leaders have certain values and characteristic in common. They assume leadership only if they see it as the best way they can serve. They aren’t possessive about their leadership. Their paramount aim is the best interest of those they lead (shepherd is for the benefit of sheep). They gain personal satisfaction by watching the growth and development of those they lead.

Leadership begins with a clear vision, which has four aspects: purpose, image values and goals. The traditional pyramidal hierarchy is applicable for the visionary aspect of leadership. Leaders cant and wont delegate the responsibility of establishing vision and direction. But the effective implementation requires the traditional hierarchical pyramid upside down. So the customer contact people can be at the top of the organization and soar like eagles.

A servant leader can follow a five-step way to transform the potential winners to winners.

  1. Tell them what to do.
  2. Show them what to do.
  3. Allow them to try.
  4. Observe their performance.
  5. Praise their progress and redirect.

Servant leadership is not about pleasing everyone. Jesus simple concern was to please God. Leadership without relation to God leads to ego trip. Servant leaders focus on spiritual significance (values) rather than earthly success. They are more concerned about developing loving relation, service and generosity than power, recognition and wealth.

Reading ‘Leadership by THE BOOK’ will help anybody who would like to be a servant leader. Ken Blanchard has pictured various aspects of true leadership in a very simple and accurate way through the conversation between a Professor, a minister and a market leader. Remember, Jesus taught his disciples through simple parables closely related to day-to-day life.

More From the Book:

Extracts from ‘Leadership by the Book’

Checkpoint 1

My Servant HEART-Leadership Character

1.Effective leadership starts on the inside.

  • Real change in behavior eventually requires a transformation of the heart. That’s where the core of who I am resides.
  • Jesus’ message was not just for the mind. It was directed at my heart. It was a real heart attack; it was about character change. Jesus is interested in me being a different person-a good and caring human being.

2.True leadership starts on the inside with a servant heart, then moves outward to serve others.

  • As a servant first and a leader second, I will assume leadership only if I see it as a way in which I can serve. I’m “called” to leadership, rather than driven to it, because I naturally want to be helpful.
  • Jesus did not want his disciples to be leaders first; he wanted them to become servants first. He told them: “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all.

3.Leaders with servant hearts have certain characteristics and values in common:

My paramount aim is the best interest of those I lead.

I gain personal satisfaction from watching the growth and development of those I lead.

I have a loving care for those I lead.

I want to be held accountable; I ask, “Has my performance met the needs of those I serve?”

I’m willing to listen. In fact, I love feedback and advice-any information that will help me serve better.

I have my ego under control. I don’t think less of myself, I just think about myself less. I don’t Edge God Out!

Checkpoint 2

My servant HEAD-Leadership Methods

1.Leadership begins with a clear vision.

There are two aspects of leadership-a visionary role (doing the right thing) and an implementation role (doing things right)

A Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion, and it’s this passion that I and other people want to follow. An organization without clear vision is like a river without banks-it stagnates and goes nowhere.

A clear vision has four aspects:

Purpose-telling me and others what business we’re in

• Image-proving a picture of what things would be like if everything were running as planned

Values-determining how I and others should behave when working on the purpose.

Goals-focusing my energy and the energy of others right now.

The traditional pyramidal hierarchy is effective for the visionary aspect of leadership. People look to me as their leader for vision and direction. While I should involve experienced people in shaping direction, I can’t and won’t delegate the responsibility for establishing vision and direction.

2.If I want people to be responsible, I must be responsive.

The implementation role-living according to the vision and direction-is where most leaders and organizations get in trouble. The traditional pyramid is kept alive and well, leaving the customers uncared for at the bottom of the hierarchy. All the energy in the organization moves up the hierarchy as people try to please and be responsive to their boss, leaving the customer contact people-those closest to the customer-to be “ducks,” quacking away: “It’s our policy,” “I just work here,” or “do you want to talk to my boss?”

Effective implementation requires turning the traditional hierarchical pyramid upside-down so the customer contact people are at the top of the organization and can be responsible-able to respond and soar like eagles-while leaders like myself serve or are responsive to our people helping them to accomplish goals and to live according to the vision and direction.

The essence of servant leadership as symbolized by Jesus washing the feet of his disciples becomes operational only when the vision and direction are made clear to everyone.

Clear vision comes first from the traditional hierarchy; implementation then follows with servant leadership, in which the shepherd is there for the benefit of the sheep.

3.The servant leader as a performance coach.

There are three aspects of an effective performance management system:

Performance Planning-All good performance starts with clear goals.

Day-to-Day coaching-Observing a person’s performance, praising progress, and redirecting efforts that are off-base.

Performance Evaluation-Final assessment of a person’s performance over a period of time.

Most organizations emphasize performance evaluation, with some attention to performance planning. The area most often neglected is day-to-day coaching. This is the most important area for servant leaders.

The five key steps for me, as a servant leader, to help potential winners become winners are:

a) tell them what to do

b) show them what to do

c) let them try

d) observe their performance, and then

e) praise their progress, or redirect

The step that’s most often missed is observing performance. When I stop noticing performance, I have stopped being a performance coach. After Jesus gave his disciples the great commission, he told them he would be with them forever. He is always there ready to help. All servant leaders should do the same.

My key to developing people is to catch them doing something right. In the beginning, when they’re learning something new, it can be approximately right. I praise progress. I know it’s a moving target.

Checkpoint 3

My Servant HANDS-Leadership Behavior

1.Servant leadership is not about pleasing everyone.

I want to serve and help people to accomplish their goals and be effective, but my emphasis is on obedience to a higher mission and set of values.

Jesus certainly did not try to please everyone. His simple concern was to please God.

Servant leadership without a relationship to God can lead to an ego trip. E.G.O. = Edging God Out.

  1. Servant leaders focus on spiritual significance more than earthly success.

I’m more concerned about generosity than accumulation of wealth.

I’m more concerned about service than recognition.

I’m more concerned about developing loving relationships than power and status.

When I focus on spiritual significance, fulfilling earthly success can then follow.

  1. Effective servant leaders develop a triple bottom line.

I emphasize that profit is the applause we get by serving our customers well and providing a motivating and empowering environment for our people.

All three factors-financial strength, raving-fan customers, and gung ho people-are important. If one is overemphasized at the expense of the others, our long-term effectiveness is limited.

  1. On a daily basis, effective servant leaders recalibrate their commitment to serve.

I have a support/accountability group to keep me on track

I make frequent use of the three disciplines: solitude, prayer, and the study of Scripture.

I work my way through the twelve steps to Faith Walk Leadership.

Twelve Steps to Faith Walk Leadership

1.I admit that on more than one occasion I have allowed my ego needs and drive for earthly success to impact my role as a leader-and that my leadership has not been the servant leadership that Jesus modeled.

2.I’ve come to believe that God can transform my leadership motives, thoughts, and actions to the servant leadership that Jesus modeled.

3.I’ve made a decision to turn my leadership efforts over to God, and to become an apprentice of Jesus and the servant leadership He modeled.

4.I’ve made a searching and fearless inventory of my leadership motives, thoughts, and behaviors that are inconsistent with servant leadership.

5.I’ve admitted to God, to myself, and to at least one other person the exact nature of my leadership gaps-when I behave in ways that do not make Jesus proud.

6.I am entirely ready to have God remove all character defects that have created gaps in my leadership.

7.I humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings and to strengthen me against the temptations of recognition, power, and greed.

8.I’ve made a list of people whom I may have harmed by my ego-driven leadership, and I am willing to make amends to them all.

9.I’ve made direct amends to such people whenever possible, unless doing so would injure them or others.

10.I continue to take personal inventory regarding my leadership role, and when I am wrong, I promptly admit it.

11.By engaging the disciplines of solitude, prayer, and study of the Scriptures, I seek to align my servant leadership efforts with what Jesus modeled, and to constantly seek ways to be a servant first and a leader second with the people I encounter in my leadership responsibilities.

12.Having had a “Heart attack” regarding the principles of servant leadership, I have tried to carry this message to other leaders, and to practice them in all my affairs.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For Your Success & Glory!