Friday, December 9, 2011

SERVE: Value Results and Relationships

Today, we'll go over the fourth concept of SERVE. The letter V stands for Value Results and Relationships.

See the Future
Engage and Develop Others
Reinvent Continuously
Value Results and Relationships

There are two tests of a great leader. Do you get results? And do you have followers? Results are important because without income, a business cannot succeed. Without wins, a team fails. Without customers, stores will close. So as a leader, you have to figure out how to maximize your income potential. But it's equally important to figure out how to build a fan base among your customers and employees.

So let's talk about results and why they are important. If you want to survive, you have to have results. A business that sells a product must sell enough products to make a profit. A sports team must win games each season or tickets won't sell and the coaches will all be fired. And so on. Results, wins, and sales are very important in the economy. But we can't believe that results are the only important thing. Many leaders tend to think that results are the only thing that matter. But they're not. In results-driven operations, money becomes more important than people, and it often happens that the morale of the staff is low, performance isn't as high as it could be, and nobody is passionate about their job. That's why relationships are very important, too.

In SERVE: Engage and Develop Others, I touched on how it's essential that your staff be as pumped up about the product or service you're selling as your customers. And this is the post where I'm going to elaborate on that. Relationships are as important to a quarterly report as the results. If you want a truly successful business, team, or organization, then you're going to need great relationships with those under your leadership and with your customers. Let me ask you. Would you rather play for a coach who only cared about winning the game, or would you rather play for someone who valued you more than the game? You'd rather play for the coach who valued you! Why? Because I think in everyone's heart is the belief that people are ultimately more important than results, profits, and money.

I believe a servant leader will value both results and relationships. Both are essential and both run the business. However, I do believe building relationships can be more risky and more difficult than striving for results. It can be harder to get someone to trust you as a leader than to get them to buy a product. It is harder to get an employee to share his or her life with you than it is to promote a new product. And that's why it's important to be a servant leader. John Maxwell was quoted to say, "People will not give you their hand until they can see your heart."

If you want to be successful in your results, you have to first be successful in your relationships. To quote The Secret, "You must gain the trust of your people. If you don't have their trust, you'll never be a great leader."

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