Why Servant Leadership?
Servant Leadership is at the heart of TRP. And we began discovering its challenges long before it was a popular leadership topic.
In a sense we were forced to deal with its challenges because of our own limitations, human limitations such as: “How can we effectively serve others without ourselves—our own ‘brokenness’ and egos—getting in the way?”
In our understanding and approach to servant leadership, we take for granted that most of us want to make a difference, to leave the world a little better than we found it. Most of us at least want to have a positive impact on the people around us, especially on those for whom we care most. We want to succeed in our families and careers. But how?
If this were easy, we’d all be doing it.
Because of these challenges, TRP seeks to get at the nuts and bolts of things. What’s hindering us? What’s getting in the way of our serving others? How and why do things go “wrong” when we all want to succeed and make a difference?
TRP reverse engineers the process: We start with Victim Mentality, the mindset which cripples many relationships and projects, relationships and projects that could otherwise thrive. In fact, we believe that victim thinking is so prevalent and such a hindrance, that unless it is dealt with and eliminated, we are defeated before we start. This is why every TRP workshop begins with a thorough exploration of this relationship and organizational killer.
What can we do?
- We need practical skills and strategies for dealing with the Victim in both ourselves and others. This is TRP’s strength and starting point.
- We also need skills and tools to move beyond victim, toward ways of thinking and being that are more responsible, more empowering, more effective at achieving those things we really want. This is “Becoming the Totally Responsible Person.”
So TRP begins with the end in mind—service to others—and works backwards: How do we best serve? The TRP core concepts, taught in our workshops, provide practical insights and skills to more effectively serve others. These practices and strategies provide the mindset and skill to serve from a place of true empowerment. These core practices include—
- Recognizing and becoming more aware of our Moments of Choice.
- Recognizing that Character is formed precisely at these moments of choice: Will we choose to Respond or React?
- Recognizing that if we desire to serve others—to empower them to be “all they can be,” we cannot Rescue or Enable them.
- Recognizing that the best way to serve others, to deal with the victim in others, is to release the Victim in ourselves entirely, and to become the Totally Responsible Person. This points to the critical importance of setting a good example, modeling what we teach, and practicing what we preach.
- Recognizing that we all learn and grow from Feedback whether from other people or situations. And so we all need to learn to receive and give feedback effectively. This is a gift, and nothing to fear. This is best accomplished by releasing all victim thinking—all insecurities and fears—and simply learning to “stand under” whatever feedback we receive; to pause and consider it, to learn from it rather than reacting or arrogantly dismissing it.
- Recognizing that to be of service to others, we need emotional intelligence, self-control and sound character. These traits can be consciously developed—and become far easier—once we’ve let go of the Victim within. We believe this is more than half the battle.
The “3 A’s” of TRP Servant Leaders
- Aware: emotionally intelligent, empathic, agenda-free.
- Assertive: purposeful, proactive, intentional. Not fearful to “tell it like it is.”
- Authoritative: “authority” based on character, values and true service (not position); lead by example; empower others to be better.