101 Training – Servant Leadership Institute

Here are my notes from the Servant Leadership Institute training I attended Nov 2014.

Servant leadership is a set of principles and practices that turn the traditional “power leadership” model upside down, creating higher performing people and a more caring world.

As servant leaders, our purpose is to serve those who follow: to inspire and equip those we influence.

  • Principles AND Practices
  • Higher performaning AND caring
  • Inspire AND equip

Seek to influence. How do we behave differently as servant leaders? — People want (need) connection

It’s about behavior and we have to be intentional. Our mindset drives our behavior so how we think determines how we act. (Think “heart”)

Do I see (believe) my role is to empower and influence? Do we think of employees as resources to equip or tools to use? Or leaders as holding the “power”?

Have you worked in a power model organization? Yes, top down — Do what you are told and tell what you do. Limited scope of influence and little to no personal ownership in organizational mission. Often afraid to speak up (or just feel it wouldn’t matter).

Now think of a servant leader organization… How was that different?

“The measure of a man is what he does with power” — Pittacus

Also said forgiveness is better than revenge AND revenge is a better motivator. Think about that…

The measure of a person:

  • Relationally
  • Emotionally
  • PsychologicAlly
  • Spiritually
  • Corporately
  • Politically

(Note: reminds me of the total person filter at TLI)

Connection: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

Trust: access to another persons life is only given as trust increases.

What comes first, trust or disclosure? — I don’t trust unless you disclose and I don’t disclose unless I feel trust. Paradox

Action: make that shift from head to the heart.

#Resource: July/Aug 2013 HBR Article on influence

In what ways has a person most inspired me? By demonstrating connection, trust, and action — being vulnerable, knowing they had my best interest in mind, not self serving… Consistent between words and deeds.

Story of J’s dad.

#Resource: The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey

Be clear on your intentions. Let people know what you are up to and what you want. Don’t keep people guessing — be clear. Manage your non verbal behavior. Be consistent with your words and actions.

Be mindful — slowing down to focus and think through what is needed to be more effective…

High EQ – Empathy and seek understanding

Adults want to understand why they are being asked to do something. They must see:

  • Intent — Purpose
  • How it relates to them — What’s in it for them

Competency –> developed over time –> becomes part of who you are –> practiced throughout life (integrated).

#Resource: Lead with love (?) book on Southwest Airlines

“Leadership is influence, that’s it” — John Maxwell

Business case for Servant Leadership. Performing better than great. Looked at % pre-tax earnings. 10.8% vs 24.2%

Low engagement scores for employees = Low profit. There is a direct correlation Look at Southwest Airlines. Happy employees and customers and profitability follows

Number 1 customer is your employees!

Consider Datron story. Very impressive:

  • Servant led
  • Clear Values
  • Employee charitable fund
  • Even in “the bad” times economically they continued living out their values and mission — and give consistently to charity (picked by employees)


  1. Our families come first
  2. Honor and serve others
    • We treat others according to their potential not their performance
  3. Conduct ourselves ethically and with integrity
    • Doing the right thing for the right reason, staying true to our convictions and keeping our word even when it costs us
  4. Be honest and trustworthy
  5. Be uncompromising in our values

Think: pick your customer. Who can you directly effect? Consider customer being employee (or franchisee as is the case with $PLKI). Love, lead, and serve them and in return they’ll take care of the next layer

Culture change can happen faster than what we thought possible. Culture change happens faster based on the intentions of the leaders.


  • Do those you serve grow?
  • Are those who have less in society better off after coming into contact with you?


  • Trust is low = trust is a tax
  • Trust is high = trust is a dividend

#Reference: Speed of Trust book

[image from booklet]

Thirteen behaviors of trust:

  1. Talk straight
  2. Demonstrate respect
  3. Create transparency
  4. Right wrongs
  5. Show loyalty
  6. Deliver results
  7. Get better
  8. Confront reality
  9. Clarify expectations
  10. Practice accountability
  11. Listen first
  12. Keep commitments
  13. Extent trust

Four cores of credibility:

  • Integrity (congruent with values — what you do when no one is looking)
  • Intentions
  • Capabilities
  • Results

First two deal with character and the last two competence

Ask “what is it that I’m doing?” If you feel you are not trusted (or they don’t open up — vulnerability)

Servant leadership behaviors:

  • Serve first
    • Demonstrate respect
  • Build trust
    • Show loyalty
    • Extend trust
  • Live your values
    • Clarify expectations
  • Listen to understand
    • Listen first
  • Think about your thinking
    • Practice accountability
    • Keep commitments
  • Bring value: your strengths
    • Talk straight
  • Increase your influence
    • Create transparency
    • Right wrongs
  • Demonstrate courage
    • Challenge non-useful beliefs
    • Confront reality
    • Deliver results
  • Live your transformation
    • Recognize positive change in yourself and others
    • Get better

Conflict is a gap in expectations. Clearly set and manage expectations. Confront reality and have increased accountability.

Assume the best in people. If you see them with positive intentions, then you are on your way to influencing them. See them as adversary and they’ll know it — won’t trust.

Five actions of smart trust:

  1. Choose to believe in trust
  2. Start with self
  3. Declare your intent and assume positive intent in others
  4. Do what you say you’re going to do
  5. Lead out in extending trust to others

Personnel handbooks do not change behaviors (amen!). May be necessary in organizations but don’t mistake that for culture and acceptable practices at the leadership level (or what they tolorate in others).

#Resource: The Oz principle book

It’s a journey, not a destination. And it’s a lifelong process (thank God for grace!) — learn & grow


Leading youself: Feeling –> Knowing –> Doing

I feel that SL could have a positive impact on my life, family, and team.

What spoke to me today? What next steps will I take?

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