Today I attended a webinar with Ken Blanchard and Simon Sinek.  I was super excited to hear what they had to say about “Servant Leadership”.  I’ve known of both of them for a while.  I’ve met Ken in person and attended a dinner he hosted when I lived in the US, and I’ve been to a live event in London to hear Simon speak.

Ken’s been in the leadership development business for years.  He’s written loads of books that have been best sellers and developed the concept of situational leadership – matching your leadership style to what support someone needs on a particular task.

Simon has come into the field more recently.  More focused on purpose, he’s encouraing people to look more into the driving force that is behind the actions they take and questioning how human we are in our business practices.

Their Golden Nuggets

For an hour, they answered questions that had been submitted in advance.  They talked of listening to, supporting, and empowering people.  Having vision, direction and goals.  They shared that employees should always come first, customers second and shareholders third.  They talked of a leadership crisis around the world that’s affecting employee engagement and how the unsafe environments that have been created based on management philosophies of the 1980s have unravelled a sense of commitment and loyalty.

They talked about how high performers don’t always make for good leaders.  They told us that if people are underperforming and uncoachable, then companies should “share them with the competition”.  They shared their thoughts on the importance of being accountable for your own behaviour.  They recommended reflecting on your impact and willingness to be honest and apologise if it didn’t go well for you.

Why This Matters for Your Career

While there was so much more I could share with you, I’ve picked out these areas as being the most interesting to share with you from a career perspective.

  • Do you listen to, support and empower yourself when it comes to your career?
  • Do you have a clear vision, direction and goals for your career?
  • Do you put yourself and your satisfaction first, ahead of your job/company/family?
  • What’s your level of engagement, commitment and loyalty? Where does it sit?
  • Are you interested in being a people manager? Or would you rather just get on with your work?
  • What behaviour are you being accountable for? Where may you need to apologise?

A Bit of Self-Reflection

I fell into some of these traps myself.  In jobs gone by, I put my job and my colleagues ahead of my needs.  I procrastinated around resigning and moving on worried about who would be there to help them once I was gone.  I wasn’t so good at listening to myself and taking action that left me feeling empowered.  My vision for my career wasn’t compelling enough for me to believe it so I struggled to take action to help it become a reality.

Your Reflection?

How have you got on with answering these questions for yourself?  Which ones have you skipped over?!  Which ones did you have immediate answers to?  Which ones are you interested in exploring further?

If you don’t take control of your career, it will feel like you have been washed out to sea and are being pulled around by the current.  It’s only when you learn to swim that you can begin to feel in control.

When are you going to learn to swim?  And if you want to, can I help you?

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