The way to the top
As an organizational leader, how can you get to the top?
Insights from leadership research, business experience, and the bible suggest that there actually is one best way to the top.
- the findings of a recent international study,
- the results of the evaluation of 50 years of leadership research,
- the business experience of the most profitable company of the world,
- and biblical wisdom,
there is only one best way to the top.
1. According to a study called „2020 Outlook survey“, which is based on over 2,000 interviews with CEOs, HR professionals, employer branding managers, and marketing managers in 18 countries, this is the No.1 leadership quality to get to the top:
If you’re pursuing the corner office, you need to have the ability to empower your employees.
2. According to a profound research by William George from the Harvard Business School, who studied the leadership research of more than 50 years, evaluating more than 1000 leadership studies, the greatest common factor of successful leaders is authenticity. George describes the authentic leader as a leader who leads to serve others.
In his publications, George quotes a reknown leader with the words: „The challenge is to understand ourselves well enough to discover where we can use our leadership gifts to serve others.“
3. The experience of the leader of Southwest Airlines, the most profitable company worldwide with more than 41 consecutive years of profitability, proves that it pays off to serve your staff first. In the early 1990s the airline industry lost $13 billion and furloughed more than 100,000 employees; Southwest remained profitable and furloughed not a single person.
The leader of the company, a former secretary, says:
My passion has always been to serve others. The most important priority are our employees. Second come our customers.
When asked, how she learnt to lead, she replied: “Well, I think I am a better follower than a leader…”
4. According to the bible, Jesus Christ, the ultimate servant leader, who gave his life for his followers, taught them this:
Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage. (The bible, Mark 10)
In short, for a leader to get to the top means to get on his/her knees and serve those he/she leads – wholeheartedly.
This kind of „Servant leadership“ requires more courage than any other leadership approach. You can try it yourself.
Do you have the courage to ask your staff how you might have hindered their growth in the past, and how you can best serve their growth in the future?
Let me know if I can support you on your servant leadership way to the top!