When BAC first announced about this talk, its title caught my attention. Like me, I am sure, many were intrigued and decided to register for ‘Servant Leadership’ with BAC lecturer, Mr. Vijiaprabhu Manikam as speaker.
On the evening of 6th August 2021, the weekly webinar under Work Different was held for BAC staff, this time focusing on the topic – Servant Leadership. After taking participants through a quick introduction as to what it was, Mr. Prabhu then dived into Servant Leadership vs Traditional Leadership, Qualities of a Servant Leader and How Servant Leadership Impacts an Organisation.
Servant Leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the goal of the leader is to serve. It differs from the traditional concept of leadership, whereby the leader focuses on the thrive of the company. Mr. Prabhu explained that leadership is a process, and that position does not make one a leader, as detailed below according to John Maxwell’s ‘5 Levels of Leadership’.
According to John Maxwell, the higher your level, the stronger the leadership. As shared by Mr. Prabhu, let me take you through the 5 levels of leadership.
Level 1 is where a leader relies on POSITION, also known as the traditional leader. When you are a Level 1 leader, it is all about keeping your position. Your employees listen and follow you because of your given position and title. You command attention by exerting your power, position, and rights as a leader. Level 1 leaders are known to be toxic leaders, and employees follow you because they do not have a choice, they have to.
PERMISSION comes under Level 2 of leadership, where relationships come into play. Level 2 leaders are more about creating relationships based on trust. They treat people with respect, and believe in building mutual trust among team members. Level 2 leaders are those that build genuine relationships because they want to, ultimately creating a positive working environment. When you are a Level 2 leader, people follow you because they want to.
Level 3 leaders focus on results, hence PRODUCTION. They develop influence on members because of the impact they have created in, and for the organisation. Here, people want to follow them because of their achievements. Employees follow them to learn from them. Level 2 and Level 3 leaders are leaders who impact others.
When one is a Level 4 leader, they believe in PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT. They focus on how to inspire and empower others, to make them better at their jobs. Level 4 leaders serve others. They use their position, relationship, and results to motivate, inspire and develop people. They make sure people are good at their jobs, so they will have a replacement. Your team follows you because you inspire them, and what you have done for them.
Leaders who sit here, the PINNACLE, are natural born leaders. They create other leaders, teaching them to develop many other leaders along the way. Based on high regards and respect, people would want to follow you for who you are and what you represent. It is said that Level 5 leaders create Level 5 organisations.
After an explanation of John Maxwell’s ‘5 Levels of Leadership’, Mr. Prabhu then laid down the points of Servant Leadership – it is when you focus on others and not yourself, when you serve, and when you put the interest of your organisation above your own. A Servant Leader’s primary task is to help others perform to the best of their ability, so one day they will be able to replace him/her.
After ending his talk, Mr. Prabhu took on a few questions from eager attendees during the Q&A session.
In conclusion, a Servant Leader is bound by his people. He/She shares power, puts the needs of employees first and helps people develop and perform to the best of their ability. The mindset of a Servant Leader – Empathy, Selflessness and Humility.
I am sure those who attended this session found this highly informative. Looking forward to more engaging sessions like this one. With this, I end with a quote from John Maxwell…