A Server's Journey

Rocky's 6 Keys to Becoming a Better Leader

August 01, 2018
A Server's Journey
Rocky's 6 Keys to Becoming a Better Leader
Chapters
A Server's Journey
Rocky's 6 Keys to Becoming a Better Leader
Aug 01, 2018
Rocky DeStefano
Here Rocky culminates his main leadership success factors and addresses the common misconception that a leader must be the driving force behind the people they lead.
Show Notes Transcript

Lay the foundation for servant leadership with these six keys for uniqueness in the workplace. In this episode, unearth an Epic Moment in Leadership with our country’s founding father, learn how companies like SalesForce create a culture that fosters high employee satisfaction, and catch a glimpse at how Rocky’s own leadership team exhibit a true desire to serve others. 


Speaker 1:
0:01
Yes,
Speaker 2:
0:10
welcome to this edition of a survivor's journey with rocky destefano. The premise of the show is that every one is leading something or someone, whether you're a parent leading your family, a coach, leading a team, a team members leading a few or a CEO leading an organization. We all are on a path to being a leader. Thus the title of the program is a service journey. Thanks Larry, and I hope that everyone listening will take this leadership journey with us and as we do on Wednesday, this is the
Speaker 3:
0:44
dive day. Today we're going to talk a little more on what I would say is finding the right job for me, learning about the characteristics of being a leader. But first, before we get started in our deep dive, today we're going to share another story of an epic moment in leadership.
Speaker 1:
1:02
Yep.
Speaker 2:
1:03
Big Moments in leadership.
Speaker 3:
1:06
All right, so today we're actually going to hit and highlight a positive leadership. It's good that we have a ying and a Yang. That's exactly right. That's the point. So today we're going to start right at the basis the formation of our country, and we're going to talk about George W dot Bush, George W dot Washington. George Washington is not, he's not a Bush, you know, maybe. Yes. George Washington. So, um, he had just won. So he basically took an army and a nation that was tiny with no real discernible armed forces. They created this great army of nobodies and cast offs and took on the big guy on the block, the bully in the world, which was England. And then they went, didn't need to do that for not a salary. Yeah, absolutely. For, that doesn't sound right. But he did that. He did that, right? Exactly. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
2:03
So, okay. So they shockingly surprisingly and uh, a lot through his decisions that he made in leadership while the war was going on. They, they win, they win this war. So the American people, of course, they anoint him as the first leader, right? And we call it president. Yes. And he did not want that. Now the first one to make it a king. Right? And that is what we're going to talk about. So after four years, he, uh, they hold another election and he gets elected for four additional years. And then there's this movement where you're right, Larry, there, the public is saying, hey, we got a good thing going here, let's anoint him as king. And so the leadership lesson he taught us is to know when to say goodbye. And so he refused. He refused to be anointed as king. And he basically, in a triumphant, amazing farewell address said, Hey America, I'm going to teach you how to say goodbye.
Speaker 3:
3:03
And he stepped down and said, no man should be a king. And at that point it was shocking to everybody, including the king he had just beat because, uh, the King of England actually said that was a showing of his true character. That's it. That's a pretty good decision he made there. So being a servant leader means sometimes you stepped down. That's right, yeah. Sometimes you do what's best for the company or the country. And sometimes that stepping away and letting new blood and new voices take charge. If you have an example of something that's someone's lead you in with the bottom of our website, you can give us a comment. We'd love to hear from you or wherever you subscribe. There's so many places to, to make comments, make a comment. We want to hear from you that Washington had it altogether. Well, it took a lot to put it together.
Speaker 3:
3:58
That's for sure. So we're going to get started. Say Larry and I want to share that with the current war on talent in the ways that we used to do business that were once universally accepted. They're just outdated and inflexible. So what were some of those, some of those outdated ways of doing things? No, I think when I was coming up it was you told me to do it and I'll do it. I will blindly follow you. Yes sir. Yes sir. That just doesn't, doesn't work anymore. And I think it's a lot of reasons. You know, we were in an age where knowledge drives the economy and we've got a bunch of socially responsible corporations and it starting to influence our team members and our public appearance. And if you think about it, this was bound to happen, you know, there's new priorities and responsibilities and we're beginning to create an environment where servant leadership is flourishing as a management tool.
Speaker 3:
4:53
That must be very good, I hope. Yeah, I think it's, it's definitely the right path. And, and hear even more smart organizations, they're creating this culture and using it as a cornerstone to build a structure that is based on stewardship, empowerment and trust. And this was really, it's not a new term actually, it's a very old term, uh, in the business world, Robert K dot Greenleaf, he officially coined the term servant leadership in 1970. And he began to believe that an organization could nurture the spirit of its employees and still make a profit. He had a seminal book called the servant as leader, and he was really the first one to bring this idea to the public, to the business world. But there's a better example, Larry. What's that? Well, if we look at leadership styles, servant leader was first shown by Jesus in the New Testament. And, uh, you know, I checked the way we talk a little bit about chick fil a, there is an attribute that we look for and we call it second mile service.
Speaker 3:
6:00
And to find that, okay, so you have to understand that in Jesus's time Israel was ruled by the Romans and it was Roman law that a Roman soldier could walk up to you and he could say, here's my backpack, carry it. And it was the legal responsibility. In fact, they'd be breaking the law if they didn't pick up the backpack and follow the Roman soldier. And these weren't backpacks like a man purse. These were, these weighed 80, 90 pounds, probably. They were quite heavy. And uh, so the citizens had to carry it for an [inaudible], which is basically a mile. And Jesus actually said, don't carry it one mile because he'd be carried at one mile. You're just abiding by the law. You're not doing anything special. So carry it a second mile to show that you are truly a servant. So Jesus' time and time again proposed that we treat others much higher than we treat ourselves. Versus Second Mile Service came about and really servant leadership, so although it has taken for decades for Greenleaf's philosophies to have a real influence on mainstream management, a number of companies that are riding really high in the fortune 100 best companies to work for have had begun to adopt these principles and they're having great effect and they're building great cultures. Well, you know, I think one of those is right here in the south southern area, which is public. Yeah, absolutely.
Speaker 3:
7:36
Well and, and what, what we're finding with them is how they treat their people. The employees are coming first and really the leaders are beginning to facilitate their growth. Really the leaders exist to facilitate their growth both collectively and as an individual. So even though servant leadership is often misunderstood, I think it's probably because people find it confusing to have the words servant and leadership together, right? To be, to be a leader, people often mistakenly believe that one has to be the driving force behind the people that they lead. And this is partly true, Larry. I mean, you know, research does tell us that to be an effective leader, you must have a certain motivation to lead.
Speaker 3:
8:25
I would think you'd have this guy that I worked under once a year at a 13. His shoe said it was 13 and he said if you didn't work hard enough you would receive it. So yeah, I think that's the motivation. Yeah. You know, the sad thing is there are still people like that, but um, thankfully I think it's becoming a, the less and less of a trend, you know, servant leadership, it just requires a different approach. In addition to the motivation to lead, you must really also have a desire to serve both the employees and the organization. Do you have someone like that? Oh Gosh, I have a lot of people like that. Um, I'm going to name one and he's been with me for about 10 years. Um, he's, he's a quiet leader, but in everything he does, he cares more about the individual and the organization.
Speaker 3:
9:21
So his hierarchy is always, is this helping the organization and is this helping the person? And if it is, that's where we're going to go. And he's a very, very quiet leader, but he and his name his age, I'm going to go ahead and say it, a servant leader and he's one of them. He should feel a responsibility toward employees as individuals. Any also must have a sense of stewardship for both them and the company as a whole. Um, uh, companies are starting to adopt servant leadership within their organizational culture and they're beginning to give a lot of attention to developing environments and support structures that foster high levels of employee satisfaction. You know, I was amazed at the fortune 100 best companies to work for. The one that was listed was called salesforce. Right? And you know, that's a company that probably not a lot of people are aware of.
Speaker 3:
10:20
In fact, even I had to do a little bit of research on them, but they had become like zealous about a employee philanthropy. And they're just being very mindful of this culture. In fact, they call it Ohana, which is Hawaiian for family. And they have created entire floors celebrating people as being part of their work family. And then they've also kind of like done things. For instance, they allow their people 56 hours a week. I'm sorry, Geez, that would be great if we could find that much. They allow 56 hours a year for their employees to volunteer in the community and then they highly incentivized their people to bring other great people there. In fact they have paid out five point 5 million in bonuses for bringing great people to the company. So being a servant leader can add certain value to not only you but to the company as well.
Speaker 3:
11:23
Yeah, and I think it's, again, it's the realization of people as individuals. We're going to talk about this idea of uniqueness the whole lot, which I think is, it's a lot more important today than it was when we were coming out to layer. Well, there are like six keys to a to this, right? Yeah, absolutely. And so what are those six keys? They start with empowerment and the development of people. That's one. Expressing humility, authenticity, interpersonal acceptance, stewardship, and providing direction. Okay, so let's dive into one at a time. Okay. Uh, how do you empower and develop people yet? You know, so this has more to do with giving people in the workplace real responsibility specifically for their own actions. So as a leader, when you empower your team, the servant leader is acknowledging the talent and the strengths that the team possess. And in addition, the servant leader must encourage employees in their actions and their personal growth.
Speaker 3:
12:25
We're going to hear that a lot to personal growth. So underlying empowerment is the acknowledgement that employees are not mere commodities, but that each is an individual in their own right. And that basically this is a way to let them feel known for what they bring to the team. Well, I think as a servant sometimes it has to be humble as well, right? Well, it's like you're reading my notes, Larry. Thank you. Yeah. So we're talking about secondly would be humility. And a servant leader must acknowledge that they are neither all knowing, all powerful. Honestly. Probably the employees have more knowledge and experience and they do. Is that true with you? For sure. So, so servant leaders in organizations are really were dependent on the knowledge of our team, and this is especially important as it is highly probable that the employees do indeed know more about their trade or their specialization than anybody else in the company.
Speaker 3:
13:28
So by acknowledging as a leader by acknowledging our fallibility and our own limits to knowledge, the servant leader helps facilitate a learning environment and it's really one in which employees can learn and develop through their own experimentation and by learning from others and this potential, the potential for self determination. It has a huge and powerful influence on the workplace and it aids in the longterm fostering of that learning culture. We're trying to get to some of the people that great leaders of the past have been this humbleness. Sure, absolutely. Who, who would you bring up? Well, I'm a little bit of a political nut. I love just the study of it. And two that come to mind immediately are Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. So Lincoln, you know, we know him historically as this amazing leader and I think the greatest thing he did was he took people that honestly were some of his enemies politically.
Speaker 3:
14:36
In fact, he took several that were diametrically opposed to his way of thinking and he took some that were actually running against him in the primary and in the actual presidential election and he took and made them his cabinet. And what he got with that is, I'm sure you've got a lot of arguing. I'm sure there was conflict, but he knew that in order to help the organization, which was America, he had to have these views and he had to have people that knew more than he did. Read the book. By the way. It's a great book. You take how many 900 pages I think. Yeah. And know very quickly. Then what about Reagan? So Reagan, he's credited with so much. He's credited with the fall of Russia. He's credited with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and all those things are great. I think what he should be known for is again, he took.
Speaker 3:
15:35
He created a team that was so intelligent that we're experts in areas that he was not, and he was humble enough to actually accept their advice and so there's a great story about somebody on his cabinet basically saying Russia will always be an a, a enemy and will always be in this race unless we actually begin to build more weapons. They can't keep pace, they don't have the money. And so as they try to, it actually led to the fall internally a Brusha, but that was never had been done if it was just Reagan and thinking about that. So listen to your people. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Be Humble enough to listen. Yeah. I remember the day that was humble enough to listen to this. Oh yeah. It was just a simple thing, but my ego was getting in my way, but someone's made a great suggestion.
Speaker 3:
16:34
I said, yes, thank you. You know, and, and we work to better your work together better that way. Yeah. It, you know, it's hard because you've got, um, your own history and you know, some times, Hey, this won't work, but if you shut people down all the time, then you'll never get their ideas. And again, member, we're hiring people to do something, but we get this free brain and we get to use that brain. And um, the more that you can allow them to experiment and try things, yet some are gonna fail, but some won't. And those may be the real differences in your company for the future. Well, how authentic does a leader have to be? Yeah, this is one that people struggle with this, but the servant leader must show very clearly to their team that not only can they be themselves, but also that they're in a work environment that genuinely encourages them and welcomes them to be themselves, to show authenticity.
Speaker 3:
17:37
The Servant leader must act with integrity. And so that takes a few things like what? Okay, so number one, they must do what they promised, and if you can't do what you promised, then go back and explain why and seek forgiveness. Number one, they have to show consistency in their actions and their morality and they have to be true to themselves and the spirit of leadership, the principals that they preach, they have to be true to those principles. Um, the benefit though of authenticity is that ultimately it supports and reinforces the values of the servant leader. That's good. So if a servant leader is this, what about personal acceptance of the leader himself? Okay, so part of authenticity. And we talked about this culture right, where you can be yourself, right? Which is really important. Um, but interpersonal acceptance is really the ability to understand as a leader, I have to understand, I have to experience the feelings and the motivation of the team.
Speaker 3:
18:45
And that is very essential. And building a servant leadership, culture, empathy and forgiveness, they have to go hand in hand. Does that make sense? What about forgiveness? Okay, so forgiveness is particularly important because you must have a culture in which it's accepted that people are human and they are, they will, and they do make mistakes. But by accepting employees as individuals, the servant leader, he shows that he understands and he appreciates them. And even more importantly, and here's this word again, he appreciates their unique perspective and again, that allows people to feel that they matter. You know, my grandfather always said, if you don't fail three times, you haven't moved forward. Absolutely. I tell you what, that's good too. And, and, and here, here's the weird thing that I've noticed and we'll get off a little bit off the path, but my father in law worked for years.
Speaker 3:
19:45
He retired from John Deere. He retired, um, I think it was 30 years green out there, big green. And he is, I mean, it's crazy. He loves John Deere. Like even now, if, if, if we see a tractor, he's stopping to look at it. Um, and he feels like his personality in some ways was tied into this organization, John Deere, that's kind of really what sustained them. And that's what allowed him to work all that time for them. And they must've been a good company, but people are, are a little bit different. All of us are a little bit different in that yeah, we do care about the organization, but it's more about our unique contributions to the organization that's more important than it ever has been. So it's just a thought here. So much leadership, uh, is given to provide direction, you know, how much do you have to, how much do you have to tell them what to do?
Speaker 3:
20:45
Yeah. I, you know, we talked about this in a previous podcast, um, but knowing what is expected is, is a huge benefit for the team and also for the organization. We've talked about this, the team must know what they're working for. What is a win to provide direction. The Servant leader must make work dynamic and that he must make it tailored. He or she must make it tailored to the abilities and the needs of the employees. So let me give you an example. So we've talked about our organization and our mission statement is to make their story better, which I love even now, it still gives me shivers when I think about that. Which a good mission statement it. I think it Kinda should. It's very aspirational. It's weird because you're not selling chicken. That's right. No, not at all. In fact, we have the ability to make everybody story better, but what does that mean?
Speaker 3:
21:40
So I have a team of people, we call them the talent team and I probably in the old days, we'd call it hr, but we like to shine it up a little bit. So they are in charge of constantly searching out and finding the talent that runs our organization. Okay. So what is a win for them? Because make their story better. It sounds good, but it has to be more personal. So for the talent team, they might say, and I think they do say it, I'm going to tip my hat here. They make the story better by bringing the right people in who have these attributes and while they work for us, we have to make that chapter one of the best chapters in their life and their story. So that's a win for them. They know that if somebody comes and works for us and in two years they graduate from college and they leave onto a better job, that's a win because that made.
Speaker 3:
22:40
We had a hand in that chapter and you always have this phrase, talent and transition. Yeah, absolutely. That's what they're looking for, right? Yeah. Because you realize in my industry, I'm not going to retire many people. They're probably going to transition. I have a lot of, uh, of, uh, the team that's 18 to 25, I don't understand, like 75 percent of your forces, like that age group. Yeah. And they're a great team and they're great age, but one of our biggest goals is how do we continue to make them grow? They have to fill that. So, you know, can I use, what? Can I just say, I've been around you for what, 10 years, 15 years, whatever. And it seemed like a lot of the people that you grew and the talent and transition, they left, but they came back. Is it because of you finding, they finding the right job at the right place?
Speaker 3:
23:30
So here's the great thing about this, and this has not been, I like to say that I wrote it out of my 15 year plan and he didn't. I lucked into it. My organization has grown to where when they first started, they might've started as a 16 or 17 year old person and I was doing a set volume, but now the volume is so much more and we're about to hopefully have a second store. So suddenly my organization can compete with a lot of organizations that in the past we would never have competed with. So we can pay more than a teacher or a police officer or a firefighter. We can pay even even getting to the point where, hey, can somebody make six figures? So what? What we're having is some people that grew up in our system that loved it, that they felt like they were treated with honor and dignity and respect.
Speaker 3:
24:21
Now they're actually like, I love that chapter of my life. I'd like to go back and actually write some chapters for kids that age now. Oh, by the way, I can actually live and support my family and have a great life. So it wasn't a plan and I didn't write it out. Uh, I lucked and fell backwards into it, but I will accept it. I'll take it. Fantastic. You know, you've mentioned stewardship, I think of stewardship is someone has to give money, give something like that. So what does the stewardship have to do with finding the characteristics? So, you know, I, I think that we definitely steward money. That's part of it for sure. And any company, I mean that shouldn't be your mission statement to make money, but it is an important component because otherwise you're a really great ministry or a charity for about a year and then you're out of business.
Speaker 3:
25:20
But there's other aspects of a stewardship and that's influence. It's, you know, taking responsibility for the larger institution and focusing on things like service instead of just control and just self interest or profit, you know, leaders have to act not only as caretakers but also as role models for others. And if I set the right example, than the leaders with me can, can stimulate others to act in, in a common interest. So in the end, it does lead to profit if it's done well, but it's not for profit, it's really that stewardship issue. So let's just review the six points of character leadership here. Okay? So we had the first one was empowering and developing people. Second was humility. Uh, we had authenticity into personal acceptance, we have providing direction. And then last we had stewardship. Fantastic. So, you know, you can read, listen to the podcast if you miss some of these points. Sure. Rocky will be here again. He can tell you these all over again. All you have to do is just push the and ever and ever and ever and ever. You know, at this point in the podcast, usually what we do is we do this one or that one. Yeah. You know. And so thought we kind of turned
Speaker 2:
26:44
the tables and say, rocky, we're going to do this little segment called this one or that one. And you need to answer these questions. Okay? It's truly a surprise now. Okay, so I'm going to give you a couple of things and you're going to say yes I like or no, I don't. All right, so the first one is fish or steak. Oh Gosh. Take. I, I'd like to tell you and my health would definitely like that.
Speaker 3:
27:07
Me To say fish. You got to give me a good steak. Okay. The second one would be coffee or tea. All right, so I do like tea. I think more than liking t I liked the idea t be, but the reality is I need coffee. Seems like anytime I drink tea it goes through me so fast. Coffee stays in middle longer. I don't know the difference. I think I feel more important when I'm drinking tea, but the reality is I need coffee. Don't tell me you had those little coffee, those little teacups. Yes I do. We have girls in my house and I might have had a tea party or two. And you've been invited? I've been invited or I've crashed either way. Okay. Now what about Steven Spielberg or Walt Disney? Yeah, my wife is a Disney girl. Uh, that is her happy place. And so that is my happy place to a Walt Disney.
Speaker 3:
28:03
Sure. Now what about star wars or Harry Potter? Okay. This is odd because I grew up as a star wars geek and very proud, very self professed star Wars Geek. I'm going to have to say Harry Potter. There's something about the idea of having magic and being able to cast a spell that it, it would be a really cool thing. I guess I've just been able to watch the first Harry Potter movie, like maybe I don't know, a fourth of the way in. And I turned it off. So a Harry Potter exist to me because I read the books first and I actually read the books because I was trying to make sure they were okay for my young daughters to read who were desperate to read. Um, and uh, I, I became to love the stories and the characters. And uh, yeah, if you read the books first, your hook.
Speaker 3:
29:00
Okay. Now here's one. This is a tricky one for you. Okay. On Sunday, I'm prefacing this on Sunday, would it be I hop or waffle house? See, I left out the [inaudible] you're closed on Sundays, so I'd like to say I hop because it would make me international, but you'd go to waffle house and if you give me Hash browns, scattered, smothered and covered, and if you don't know what that is, stopped right now, getting your car and go to waffle house and ask for Hash browns. Scattered, smothered and covered. And it is still one of the true anywhere that you can, uh, watch somebody cook while smoking a cigarette. It just reminds me of my youth. So no, isn't it true that Truett Cathy actually started in a restaurant similar to, at waffle house and it was, what do you call it? A diner? Yeah. When he built filet, uh, he started to add a dwarf house, which was a waffle house basically.
Speaker 3:
29:56
That was really what he thought was the trend. And I think he realized pretty quickly it wasn't. But yeah, we have checked plays that are still diners. Okay. Now one last question. Would you rather call or text? Oh, I'd much rather text. Okay. Next time I tried to get ahold of you. I know what to do. I think that most of my real friends know it's quicker to text me then to call me by my real friends. I'm not sure if I know where I'm at there. Okay. One simple question here for you. Uh, what's your favorite Bible verse or quote or do you have a favorite leisure? Yeah. Um, so there's a lot of leaders that I really admire a lot and I would have to say that it put politically, probably George Washington was there for sure if you read some of his, you know, public addresses.
Speaker 3:
30:49
In fact, if you read his farewell address, it's probably the most well crafted, um, speech I've ever, ever read. So he's definitely somebody I admire, but I try to live my life around Philippians four, six, which it says, having confidence of this, that he who began a work in me will carry me to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. So that's always given me hope mostly because it shows that we're on a journey and we're not complete and we're never going to be complete until Jesus comes back or we go to meet Jesus. And happened so I can fail, so I don't feel so bad when I do so that's pretty much the verse that I kind of live by. Wow. Was just great to get to know rocky just a little bit better. Right? Well, yeah. You're getting to know the public rocky, you know the one I hide from others.
Speaker 3:
31:40
Maybe. Maybe it's a little scarier place, but let's just do a quick review. Once again, when you're talking about the characteristics of talent and trying to find a servant leader, what would be some of those points? Again, empowering and developing people. Humility, authenticity into personal acceptance, providing direction and stewardship. Alright, thanks for joining us here on a service journal. Remember to subscribe to the podcast and you'll hear all of what rocky wants to share with you to beat good leaders, learning to lead by serving. And if you're subscribing, you know this, you're going to be getting a server's journey moment, which is a quick pick me up to help start your day. Don't you love those? I do. Those are great idea. And so you don't have to take a little time to list. Right, and we're going to be bringing in some on air talent to give us some, uh, other moments. Great. So if you like what you hear here, tell a friend like us shares on facebook
Speaker 2:
32:40
and also from time to time, rocky has a great personal story that you'd like to share with you can, you can get those from the website@theservicejourney.com. So rocky, until next time you're ever faithful companion Larry. So now who is the lone ranger? So you're my time to Toronto. So every show we're going to have one of those, I think until I run out of ideas. But okay, well there aren't that many others not, but hey, you know, again, we're all on a journey. I'm on a journey. You're on a journey. Yes. And the reality is, I don't know much, but I'm willing to share what I've learned and I want everybody to understand that no matter what you serve in, no matter what role or what type of leader you are, we're all on this journey. And that's why we're here. We're sharing a server journey together. I'm rocky desteffano. I want to thank you for joining us as together we learned to be better leaders.