My guest this week is Holly Culhane, founder, and CEO of Presence Point, a non-profit organization that supports leaders in their journey of becoming shepherds to their people.
On today’s podcast:
- Shepherding: servant leadership in action
- Shepard leaders genuinely care about their people
- Key elements of shepherding
- How to bring shepherding to your company
- How to be a good servant leader
- How do we measure our success as servant leaders?
Shepherding: servant leadership in action
Shepherding is a tweak of servant leadership. Servant leadership allows us to take our workforce into consideration. If we want to be successful as leaders, we have to serve our employees more than they serve us.
What is the true measurement of leadership success? Good employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and how the employees treat the customer. We’ve got to treat our employees like they’re our customers.
When you put other people first, you have more success in your own life.
Shepherd leaders genuinely care about their people
In today’s workforce, 50% of employees are millennials. They are also starting to take leadership roles, along with boomers and Xers.
Shepherding emphasizes presence. Presence requires you to be fully engaged, and millennials expect full engagement.
We might think that millennials are unengaged, as they are often texting or emailing. In reality, they want engagement and they resonate with people who care for them genuinely and deeply. And that’s what servant leadership represents.
A shepherd is the ultimate example of a servant because he lays down his life for his sheep. This changes the whole approach on how people work and accomplish their goals.
Pivotal elements for shepherding
There are three key elements for shepherding.
The first one is provision. Provision is to care of or to furnish or supply the need of another. Leaders should ask themselves: “Are we providing equipment, hardware, software, ergonomically correct chairs, and the information our employees need to do their job well?”
The second element is protection, the act of safeguarding. How do we shield our employees from harm? If there is a conflict, we need to step up. Sometimes we even need to protect them from themselves.
The third element is presence. Presence is being at hand, even if you are not there physically.
Bringing shepherding to your own workforce
Every responsibility of a leader falls under one of these three categories.
So how do you bring shepherding into your own organization? First, you need to figure out how it applies to you.
You can start by looking at how you were led in the past. You should look at the effects of good or bad leadership styles.
How to be a good servant leader
We need to have the vulnerability of being honest and open enough to say “I blew it, let me fix it”. Just because we’re in a leadership position, it doesn’t mean that we’re free from mistakes or from failure.
Many leaders think they shouldn’t be too vulnerable because they would give people too much information and they won’t be respected.
A servant leader is willing to say “We need to work on this, I’m struggling here”. The difficulty with servant leadership is not just our pride, it’s also our fear. We have to move from pride and fear to humility and confidence.
How do we measure that we are successful as servant leaders?
If you want to know whether you are doing a good job as a servant leader, you just need to ask. Do a monthly or quarterly check-in. Ask your employees:
- Am I giving you what you need?
- What do you need to be more effective in your role?
- Do you have all you need to serve the customer?