I love the stories and examples, so I can extrapolate for our organization. I love that these concepts are so opposite of so much business talk.
You get 494 million hits when you Google the phrase “Leadership”. It drops to a significantly more manageable 128 million when you change the phrase to “Leadership Development”. A good few of them probably have something worth learning or adopting.
Ultimately though, you become aware that what you choose to adopt and disregard is based on your answer to the question : What kind of leader do I want to be? What kind of leaders do we want in our organization?
At Zingerman’s, over the course of over 30 years of growing and thriving, we’ve created a clear vision of what our idea of great Leadership is. It’s based on Robert Greenleaf’s idea of Servant Leadership. The basic belief of Servant Leadership is that, we, as leaders, are here – first and foremost – to serve our organizations. We’ve also developed a teachable and effective system for it. And we think it works. Here’s why :
“It is a true gift to be a leader within Zingerman’s Community of Businesses; to have the freedom to be a true leader and be true to yourself. Not that there isn’t pressure, but the pressure is largely self-imposed to live up to the expectations we have set for ourselves and our organization. In my 25-plus-year career, I have never felt more appreciated, engaged, challenged, and rewarded.
- Elaine Steig, Zingerman’s Service Steward, 2012