What would happen if we fundamentally changed our leadership style? What would happen to our companies if we chose to serve those we lead? These are the premises of Cheryl Bachelder’s Dare to Serve.
As the CEO, Cheryl was instrumental in turning around Popeyes over just 7 years, with restaurant sales up 25%, profits up 40%, and market share up 7%. What was the key to this success? It was the direct result of making a conscious decision to lead in a new way. Do we want different results than we had last year? In my experience, Cheryl’s experiment here is real, and if we choose to lead this way, we will see tangible bottom line results.
I know that you are thinking, “Of course Cindi feels this way, because she is an HR person.” But honestly, this applies to you, too. I'm suggesting that you may want to take some time during this holiday season, when it just seems right to turn our focus to relationships, and read this book. I believe it will be worth your time.
The premise is simple:
- Decide to think positively about the people you lead
- Decide to be a leader who serves others over self-interest
The book is full of very practical ideas you can apply in your business right now such as this one interesting take-away.
Dare to Serve leaders create work environments that bring out the best in their people. Cheryl says if you have an underperforming team, the easy approach is to say, “I need new people.” As a staffing person, I hear this all the time. So these leaders fire the people they have now, then take the time and incur the expense to hire replacements, only to have this new crop disappoint them as well. Cheryl contends that the work environment can inspire boldness, innovation, and excellence, or it can strangle the capability and productivity of the team. It is the work of the leader to create this environment. Popeyes created half-day retreats once a year to produce teamwork. The retreat exercises focused on using the workers' strengths to help solve business problems. Employees were empowered to think outside the box in role play scenarios where the leaders could be the "students." This was a great opportunity to for leaders to identify their employees' strongest skills. In the end, everyone emerged from this retreat ready to make changes in job requirements based on these newly discovered strengths.
I’m so sure that this is a problem in our companies that I will make this bold statement:
I think if we CEOs could embrace this servant leadership model, then 80% of the problems with our teams would be fixed.
I love this quote from Cheryl - “Your leadership actions will change lives for the better, leave them unchanged, or regrettably, leave them worse off. Which will it be? You have some important decisions to make.”
- In 2017, will I humbly serve others over my own self-interest?
- In 2017, will I help others find meaning and purpose at work?
- In 2017, will I teach others the guiding principles of serving others well?
Or in 2017, will you continue to grumble and complain about your employees never measuring up to your expectations?
After reading this book, you may consider the possibilities, but not know where to start. Please call me for coffee, and together we will set a few next steps. No charge – and the coffee is on me! This is important, not only to your bottom line, but for how you are impacting the people’s lives that you have been given the opportunity and responsibility to lead.
I recommend this book for you and the managers on your team.
It's an easy read, requiring 6 to 8 hours.
Read This Book!
After reading this book, you will be empowered to begin the steps to create a work environment that brings out the best in those you are leading