LeadingAge New York Adviser Fall 2015 Vol. 1 - Page 31

Shift Your Approach and You Can Change the World S ervice is action, action leads to success and success creates value. Servant leadership can be a very different approach to the way you manage your organization but the resulting business success is undeniable. Serving and caring for staff before personal achievement can inspire them to take meaningful action and in turn, creates a better workplace for everyone. Matt Tenny is a man who turned a mistake into a lesson and is working now to be of service. His practice of serving starts with his staff. He suggests that if you take care of the people in your organization – from the frontline staff to the executives – success will follow. He says that when you are a servant leader your staff members feel rewarded, are fully engaged, and don’t want to leave your organization. Lower turnover results in better service, and better service leads to success. He asks leaders to do little things every day to prove to the members of the team that they are valued. These genuine and sincere gestures show staff you are a servant leader. He reminds us that often, the best way to serve our staff is to ask them how they want to be appreciated. You will undoubtedly be surprised by the answers. Based on the conference program entitled: LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM A PRISON, A MONASTERY, AND A BOARDROOM Whether you send a letter recognizing someone’s extra effort or take the time to thank them in person, people respond to your service leadership with extraordinary results. Tenny encourages leaders around the world to step back and place value in their people. In his book, Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom, Matt talks about how to attract top talent, increase engagement and lower turnover; and in doing so, provide better customer service. These principals aren’t new to most of us, in a time when change is inevitable, he asks us to remember: when you serve your residents and your staff, with a philosophy of meaningful action, you are changing the world. leadingageny.org 30