Leadership is service.  People will follow someone who consistently comes through and is willing to serve, to do the dirty work, and to fight for their team.

The following are foundational characteristics to focus on in order to improve the services you provide as a leader.

Be selfless and control your greed – selfishness has caused more than enough harm for humankind. The hunger to satisfy one’s own needs often starts in one’s heart as a small seed.  As the person starts enjoying the benefits, they cannot help but want more and more.  Meanwhile, they raise their standards of living so much that they would not afford to enjoy life if they stopped their selfish way of life.  Therefore, if you want to serve as a leader, you need to control your appetite and be disciplined.  Think of other people who might be hurt because of your actions once the bad spirit of selfishness takes complete control of your life.

Be humble – some people fail to serve their purpose as leaders simply because their love for power makes them too proud.   As a leader, you run the risk of being obsessed with your power so much that you always feel the need to show that you have power.   The consequences include failing to take advice or build and manage relationships that are necessary for the success of the organization among other things.

Be transparent – your activities as a leader must not be a secret unless the organization demands it be. Your subordinates and the rest of the stakeholders must be able to get the information they need about the proceedings of the organization at the right time and without the exclusion of any other important details that are required to make informed decisions.

Seek help when you need it – it is okay to admit where you are struggling.  Ask fellow leaders for help or ask for contributions even from subordinates.  You can give your teams an exercise or find other means to gather more information on a subject that you find complicated.

Build strong teams – your teams and how you motivate and train them are crucial to your ability to serve.  You need to have strong teams built based on skills without any bias.  This improves productivity while it makes your role easier as a leader.  Therefore, you need to invest more energy in skills identification and development.  Another way to build strong teams and take away some of the weight off your shoulders is to demonstrate to team members how certain things are done and encourage them to use their creativity.

Do not succumb to other pressures – it is easy for those who have power over you to try and convince you to serve their own interests that are against the will of the organization.  As a leader, ensure that you make your values clear to everyone such that those who attempt to use you will struggle to find an entry point.  Being strategic about the relationships you form will come in handy.

Copyright 2021 Terry H. Hill

Terry H. Hill is the Managing Partner of The Seaplace Group, LLC. is a veteran chief executive, his three-plus decades of work with business owners, executives, and employees of privately held companies have been instrumental in helping them deal with the challenges they face in each stage of their business life cycle. Terry is the author of the book, How to Jumpstart Your Business, a practical guide for down-to-earth answers to questions and challenges that every business owner and executive faces.