“If character guides the actions of an individual, you can say that culture guides the actions of a group of individuals.” ~Jim Johanik
Establishing a healthy culture as a leader is crucial if you want a team that operates towards achieving the mission of the organization. On a recent episode of LeaderImpact Podcast, guest Jim Johanik talked about culture through the lens of coaching a football team. He observed that players who take ownership of the team ultimately drive the whole group closer to achieving the goals of the organization and the team itself. Still managed by the coaches, yes, but when the players feel empowered to lead from within, those are the most successful teams, in his experience.
The coach has to be the one to allow this type of culture in a team to happen, and the type of leader that you are shapes the culture. If your team senses that you are just in it for yourself or that you aren’t willing to allow them to step up and take ownership in achieving the mission, it can negatively affect the culture which ultimately affects the organization as a whole.
If you are conscious of adopting a servant leadership approach and allow your team to lead from within, then you are only going to be limited by the talent level of your people. You won’t be hindered by adverse culture or things that detract from that potential.
There is value in servant leadership for establishing a healthy culture. In the Bible, Jesus Christ is often seen as the ultimate example of a servant leader. He said that whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant. So what can we learn from Him being a servant leader?
He always put others first. He prioritized the needs of others above His own. He was genuinely concerned about the well-being and development of His followers and had empathy and compassion for everyone He encountered.
He actively sought out opportunities to help and serve his team. He literally washed the feet of His disciples, showing true humility and selflessness. This created an environment within His team where they were willing to follow Him no matter what the cost and would go on to passionately continue His work once He was gone. This could be seen today as creating the ultimate culture where your team is passionate about the cause and leads from within, even when you aren’t there.
Why not try and take the servant leadership approach in your business or organization? Not only can this approach help establish a healthy culture and get better results from your team, but it can ultimately help your organization thrive and become more successful.