David Cummings recently released a great blog post on servant leadership. Contrary to traditional leadership and power, the servant leader turns the power pyramid upside down. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. He suggested that Entrepreneurs that believe in servant leadership should use these seven words frequently:
"Let me know how I can help."
Here are a few additional phrases that you might use as a servant leader:
"Is it totally clear what's expected of you?"
"Is there anything keeping you from accomplishing what's expected of you?"
"What ideas do you have that would allow us to improve or do things better?"
"What do you think we should do here?"
"I want you to know that I appreciate your contribution"
In the workplace, I have found that there is no greater respect than truly valuing someone's opinion and trusting them to make their own decision. On the contrary, there is nothing more disrespectful as a leader than blindly ordering people around. People can either do something because you told them to, or they can do something because they believe it is the right thing to do. You can decide which one is more powerful.