There are all types of leaders in the world. Cleary, some are better than others. The worst however are what I would call Privileged Leaders.
Authentic Servant Leaders see leading others to success as a privilege. Privileged Leaders believe holding a leadership position entitles them to “special” rules not available to those they think they’re leading. They live by the old saying “Rank has it’s privileges.” They make that old saying come to life by providing themselves with many privileges not available to the people they claim to be leading.
Privileged Leaders will never have the commitment of the people they supposedly lead because they don’t think they need it. Without that commitment they simply cannot lead.
Privileged Leaders are poor communicators because their different set of rules act as a wall between them and their people. They don’t understand the people they try to lead because they don’t care to understand the people they try to lead.
They don’t value the people they are supposed to be leading because they see value only in themselves. They don’t listen to the people they hope are following them because…well because they don’t listen to anyone.
Privileged Leaders believe that their title or position is what makes them special. They believe their income level makes them better human beings.
Authentic Servant Leaders believe they aren’t special at all. They believe it’s the people they lead who are truly special. They value those people and seek out their advice. They listen, intently, to what they have to say. No amount of money, no title or position will ever make them think they are better than another human being.
You’ll recognize a Privileged Leader the moment you see them. They will have placed themselves on a pedestal so high above the people they think they are leading that those people couldn’t follow if they wanted to.
Authentic Servant Leaders make certain they stay close to their people. They lead from the front, they lead from the middle and sometimes they even lead from the rear. Whatever the case may be they lead from along side their people and never put themselves above them.
Privileged Leaders have no way of learning how mistaken they are because they also believe they have nothing left to learn. They “know” every decision they make is the right decision simply because they made it. They don’t question themselves and woe to any person who dares to question their thinking.
Authentic Servant Leaders know they will never know it all. They also know they don’t need to. They have a wealth of knowledge in the people who are committed to following them. They “tap into” that knowledge bank with great regularity for the benefit of their entire organization. They know that they could be wrong about virtually anything so they value having their decisions challenged. That challenge either confirms their thinking or causes them to change it, again to the benefit of the entire organization.
If you’re working for a Privileged Leader then fasten your seat belt. It’s gonna be a rough ride. They won’t learn from their mistakes because they will never admit to them. They must either be forced out by an Authentic Servant Leader or the organization they are supposed to be leading will simply go the way of many failed organizations.
If you’re working with an Authentic Servant Leader then count your blessings, which will be many. Working for an Authentic Servant Leader gives you and your organization ample opportunities to grow. Make sure that you make the most of those opportunities.