The challenge for servant leaders is to stay the course when their desire to stay connected with their spiritual nature conflicts with the company rule.
Values and beliefs should create the rules by which we govern our lives – not the opposite. Rules should not determine our values and beliefs. All too often, bully management has the perspective that rules are directly linked to performance. They think that without rules, performance must automatically suffer. The truth is that, in many situations, it is the rules that stifle the company culture.
Servant leaders are naturally amiable and they are often global thinkers, not linear thinkers. They are empathetic and tend to be good listeners – giving team members multiple chances and enough time to learn and grow (when in fact, the company is screaming “cut the rope!”)
But servant leaders can’t pull everyone up the mountain. The practical side of their nature – which serves the company’s bottom line – first has to kick in. They still have to be willing to let toxic employees go before they poison the ship.
Servant leaders can stay true to their nature and true to a positive uplifting culture.
They can develop people and attitudes in a way that continues to benefit the company – with good processes and policies that create appropriate boundaries, goals and benchmarks. They can lead without appearing soft with clear communication.
The wise servant leader doesn’t take offense and plot revenge. They listen and adjust – working to improve the path of the team, often in spite of the dead, rotting bear stuck inside the log, fallen across the path (a.k.a. big stinky obstacles).
During difficult times, the adjustments have to be made to let ineffective people go.