All Articles Leadership Management What can a servant leader in a self-centered organization do?

What can a servant leader in a self-centered organization do?

When you are surrounded by selfishness and self-serving behavior, you may need to leave. But until then, try creating a pocket of excellence.

2 min read


Dysfunctional workplace

I’m coaching a servant leader who is deeply enmeshed in a self-serving, self-centered organization. With every breath, her company encourages selfish plans, decisions and actions.

The company’s “I win, you lose” philosophy is deeply embedded. Sales competition is fierce. Bosses track sales by the day and celebrate only the single top performer. Often, their celebration is in the form of teasing or demeaning comments.

Clearly, this servant leader is not going to change the overarching philosophy and practices of the organization. She loves her team. They trust her. And, they see aggressive behavior all around them and, unfortunately, they tend to model those demeaning interactions with each other.

My first question to her was, “Are you looking for another job?” She admitted she was. The job search will take awhile. We discussed how difficult it was for her to be so clear on her purpose — to serve others with kindness and respect while inspiring team accomplishments daily — while being confronted with the absence of kindness and respect throughout her current organization.

In the meantime, I suggested a practical, meaningful focus for her: creating a pocket of excellence within her team.

In today’s three-minute Culture Leadership Charge video episode created exclusively for SmartBrief readers, I outline the two things this servant leader must do in order to inspire her team to treat others respectfully while exceeding performance expectations.

Creating a pocket of excellence is a worthwhile and challenging opportunity. It’s not impossible — and her success will create a work environment of sanity, validation and creativity for team members. Check out the video for my suggestions.

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