Today I saw this quote, ‘If SERVING is Below You, Then LEADERSHIP Is Beyond you’.  I have a lot of favourite quotes, but this one makes my top 10 list. When I reflect back to all the great leaders I’ve had the opportunity to work with, they all had one thing in common; their understanding that leading is a privilege, not a right.  

It still shocks me how many leaders today feel they’ve more than just earned their positions.  In fact, they believe they deserve their positions.  They believe their teams work for them.  They represent (and seem to love) the old pyramid style of leadership structure.  Someone forgot to tell them times have changed.

Being a leader today is about serving your people.  People-first leadership places your people clearly at the front of the line (not you).  It’s a recognition that you and your company will only succeed when they succeed.

Here are 6 signs you are a leader in service of others…

  1. You consistently ask questions and proactively seek out feedback from your teams.
  2. You build trust by taking the time to connect with your teams, not just rushing to get your agenda complete
  3. You care about your employees beyond their contribution at work
  4. You take personal accountability when things go wrong and work with your team on finding solutions
  5. You commit time to developing and mentoring the leaders on your team
  6. You appreciate and recognize each individual’s talents and contributions

Remember that you affect people’s hopes, dreams, ambitions and sense of self-worth. People stay (and leave) because of you.

We rarely remember leaders from our past who were highly capable and skilled, hard working and loyal.   We remember and are inspired by the leaders who cared about us, connected with us, appreciated us and helped us succeed!

These are the influential leaders… the ones that SERVE!

Linda Montalbano is a true retail operator with a history of leading large retail teams to success. If you need a fresh perspective on what's going wrong in your stores, Linda is the one to tell you like it is and come up with a solid game plan to turn things around!

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