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Are you over expressing your Servant Leadership style?

Servant Leaders feel a deep responsibility to enable the growth of those around them and create an inclusive environment. These are the leaders that pull introverts into the conversation. They fiercely defend and stand up for their teams; they want people to know how good their team is while not being taken advantage of. They want people to genuinely, generally, enjoy their work. They want their people to feel comfortable at work, to be their professional selves. They want their people to know they can fail and make mistakes and they want them to take ownership of their work.

These are the leaders people will walk through fire for.

What does an over expression of this look and feel like?

Overwhelm: in an effort to protect and allow time for growth, the leader has taken on too much themselves;

Resentment: their team schedules, takes vacation or logs off at a “reasonable” hour while the leader feels stuck/trapped at work, unable to fully log off for any significant amount of time;

Burnout: from taking on menial or soul crushing tasks themselves, instead of sharing the wealth with the team and spending more time on the tasks the leader actually loves;

Alone: no one understands how much they have on their plate, how many spinning plates they’re trying to keep track of AND the leader is literally working on it all solo;

Underappreciated: as no one knows all the leader is doing for them, no one can convey appreciation or gratitude for it, they really are silently killing themself in vain.

Most amazing leaders I know go through this phase from time to time. And that’s the key: it’s a phase. It doesn’t have to look and feel like this, you can move through it to the other side.  You can be the leader people will walk through fire for AND feel appreciated, connected, excited about the work you’re doing with your team. It doesn’t have to be either/or.

How can you have both?

Step 1: Let your people in. Consider that sharing the pressures the team is under, the expectations people have of the team is a form of protecting them. To build an inclusive environment, you must INCLUDE the people in all parts of being on the team, the good and the bad.

Step 2: Redefine “growth”. Consider that growth is available in the tasks you delegate to them, whether they want to do it or not, perhaps especially if they DON’T want to. Growth is not just found in new and exciting projects. It can be menial projects with less of your involvement or in teaching the menial task to someone else. Growth is everywhere if we look for it.

Step 3: And this is the real kicker. Trust and remember that focusing on who you want to be for them, how you want to show up for them, will almost always come through. If, in your heart of hearts, you want them to grow in their careers and succeed, it almost doesn’t matter what work you’re giving them, that intention will come through and they will know that they’ll get a growth opportunity, even if they don’t believe this particular task is it.

If you are in this tough phase, feeling overwhelm, resentment, alone, underappreciated and a bit burnt out, let’s talk. I would love to help you move through this phase faster.

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