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Servant Leadership

There is no area more discussed or written about in business than leadership.

There is no area more discussed or written about in business than leadership. According to a recent survey, there are over 15,000 leadership books in print. One reason is that people like to freely offer their perspectives on how to lead. Of course, there are a litany of styles that are ever-evolving and many of those are effective. There are also limitless subjects and topics where leadership is not only required, but also essential. We are not talking about ordinary leadership, we are talking about servant leadership which is sharply different. The servant leader is all about being a servant first. It’s an intuitive sense that naturally causes these individuals to make serving the highest of priorities. It’s not something they have to think about, it’s who they have become. Somewhere along the way, they were influenced in a manner that engendered consciously choosing to lead. Some may call these individuals natural leaders, but I don’t believe in the inherency of leadership. Like any other skill, it can be learned and mastered.

Early on in my career, I thought of myself as a reluctant leader. Probably because I’d seen so many poor leaders who were egomaniacs, which caused me to develop a deep disdain for people in position of authority. I had been on the receiving end of abusive leaders who liberally wielded their power, and normally put themselves first. These same so-called leaders were also the first ones to run for cover when the proverbial crap hit the fan. That is not a leader! A leader is someone who has vision and sets clear cut goals. He or she rolls up their sleeves and does whatever it takes to help people win. They are all about the greater cause and are highly competitive. Servant leaders know who they work for, their people. They understand that no one wins unless we all win. They, and the people they represent are not mutually exclusive.

As time went by, I realized that I couldn’t do any worse than the so-called leaders I had been exposed to. My first big step was when I decided to accept the position of president of another company pre-Globalstar. I had turned down the role at least six times for a variety of reasons, but when the decision was made to bring in someone from the outside who I felt would ruin what we had created, I decided to accept the position. I did it because I had grown to love the people I had represented for the past 7 years. There were many times during that period when I felt alone but being an integral part of something greater than yourself is like nothing else, so I stayed the course. At Globalstar, we have created an egoless environment where we manage from the bottom up instead of the top down. The company principals are there to serve the many by being highly visible, accessible, and responsive, and by removing any/all impediments to team success. We pride ourselves in being friendly, smart, compassionate and competitive. And we don’t take anything for granted—especially not our valued team members, partners, or clients. 

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