Servant Leadership In The Workplace: Supporting and Resourcing
Updated: Mar 10, 2018
A regular question I ask my team is if they have what they need to be successful. For example, if a new project is assigned, I ask the question. After allowing them to dive into the tasks to complete this project, I ask this question again. One of my favorite saying is, "You don't know what you don't know." I'm not sure who coined that, but with anything, experience leads to new knowledge.
What I have found is that supporting and resourcing means something different to everyone. For some, a simple acknowledgement of their hard work is what they need at that time to continue pushing them forward. For others, they may ask for resources to help them complete their projects more effectively. If this is the route that is taken, then we (the team member and I) need to figure out how we can get that resource. If we cannot obtain that resource due to personnel or financial restrictions, then we need to brainstorm and be realistic with how we should proceed to overcome the challenge that the resource would have alleviated.
According to Irving and Longbotham (2007), supporting and resourcing equates to leaders supporting workers and providing necessary resources for the accomplishment of their goals. Patterson (2003) continues by adding, "by empowering followers, servant leaders are allowing their freedom to proceed toward their goals, helping them make their dreams a reality" (p. 24). One of the viewpoints I appreciate these authors taking is that leaders should encourage the development of creative and supportive pathways toward fostering goal attainment. I see this as another way we can build communication between our staff and establish methods to bring accountability into the picture. If we can be intentional with helping our staff identify their goals, layout their pathway, and support them to the completion of their goals, I believe we will see increased engagement from our teams.
This topic leads me down another path that I feel is important for leaders to remember. Anytime we are working with goals and attainment of those goals, it can become easy to accomplish the goal and then move right on to the next goal. By doing this, we take away the chance to celebrate the success of attaining that goal.
Shawn Achor has an excellent video titled: The Happy Secret to Better Work. In this talk, Shawn provides a humorous and insightful talk on why we need to give ourselves the opportunity to celebrate the success of accomplishing our goals.
To wrap this post up, I ask you: What are you doing to ensure your staff have what they need to be successful in the workplace?
Irving, J. A., & Longbotham, G. J. (2007). Team Effectiveness and Six Essential Servant Leadership Themes: A Regression Model Based on Items in the Organizational Leadership Assessment. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 2(2), 98-113.
Patterson, K. (2003). Servant Leadership: A theoretical model. Dissertation Abstracts International, 64(02), 570. (UMI No. 3082719)