Tag: Robert Greenleaf

Leadership Is… Really Listening #304

An effective leader is an equally effective communicator. As a speaker I want people to listen and hear. As a listener, I also want to hear and really understand what others are saying. An hour with one of my mentors is useless if I don’t listen, hear and learn. We need to listen more than we talk to be sure that others feel valued.

“A true natural servant automatically responds to any problem by listening first.” (Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader)

Listening is more than just being present and quiet. It is focusing all your physical, emotional and psychological energies to the conversation. The individual reading, corresponding or sleeping in the back of a team meeting is only physically there. Their presence is not assisting, it is hindering the learning process. In communication, the art of being fully and completely involved is paramount. Your physical, emotional and physiological presence must be seen and felt.

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning.” (Proverbs 1:5 NIV)

When listening, be aware of the big picture, listen and watch for intent, tone of voice and the body language. The body language involves the eyes, feet, hands, general posture and emotional responses. Watch for consistency, do the emotions back up the words, or do the words tell a different story?

The actual words are important, but tend to communicate far less than the manner in which the words are used. Listen to the words, but listen within the context. Most people remember less than 30% of the words heard. The rest of the content becomes filler. By listening to all the variables you can communicate effectively.

The effective servant leader knows that listening is the best investment in team development.

Leadership is … listening and really hearing.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach


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Leadership Is Serving in 2017

Laurie KennedyHappy New Year. At the Jethrogroup we are thankful for the privilege of influencing Leaders around our world. Many of you are Christ followers working in churches, mission organizations and secular jobs.  Others of different faith backgrounds are reading, learning and developing their leadership one decision at a time. It is a privilege to serve.

Let’s start this year serving.

“Servant Leadership is being a servant first. The essence of servant leadership is leading by example.” (Angie Mays, Courteous Rebel)

“The art of leadership is being ready and able to subordinate one’s self interest often to the greater good of the unit or the organization.”  (Fred Smith CEO of the Year, FedEx)

“My work as a director is to make everybody bloom.” (Mira Nair, Fast Company)

“In my experience, any leader, military or civilian, has one priority: the quality of the people under his command.  Without their skill and spirit, the best plans and policies turn to dust.”  (Michael Abrashoff, Fast Company)

“A servant leader is a servant first.” (Reflection on Leadership)

“Level 5 leaders embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will.  They are ambitious, to be sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves.” (Hunter, James C. quoting Jim Collins in The World’s most powerful Leadership Principle)

“Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?” (Ezekiel 34:2 NIV)

As Christian leaders, we are not here to serve your “own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 NKJV).

The leader is, “the ‘servant’ of the followership”. (Marquardt, Global Leaders for the Twenty-First Century)

“The servant-leader is servant first…it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first” (Robert Greenleaf)

Leadership is … showing God’s love through service.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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