Effective customer service is a large part of business success, and much of that success depends on how we as leaders lead. Servant leadership facilitates growth and performance by putting the needs of others first leading to better equipped, happier employees that are ultimately able to deliver better business outcomes. As powerful as that is, the work environment is not the only focus of a servant leader. Servant leaders must focus on short-term milestones that will translate to the long-term success of the team, customers and company. There are at least three reasons leaders can and should develop and communicate long-term plans and progress along the way.
A real servant leadership approach to business is found in the understanding of patience versus immediate gratification. It is relatively easy when dealing with stakeholders and other financial obligations to get caught up in the idea of money over model. Most companies when starting go to great lengths to develop a business plan and model that are cohesive to their product and goals. When the actual venture begins, these plans can get lost in the day-to-day pressures of making a dime. While making a profit may be the ultimate stakeholder objective, a company cannot build long-term success by merely chasing the dollar. Profit should be an outcome but not the sole focus. If it is, you may make choices that are short-sighted and not helpful in building long term success.
Servant leadership is about establishing a model that is capable of sustained growth over time. Patience helps to build credibility in an industry and loyalty among your team and customers. In other words, taking your vision from dollar signs, and shifting the focus to people and product improves your ability to create a more meaningful corporate strategy. The business goes from chasing money to chasing solutions to tough team and customer problems that naturally lead to sales and profits. A company focused on solutions evolves from thinking about short-term gains to long-term and lasting results.
Unfortunately, there is no denying the need for short-term milestones. An important part of a leader’s job is to help everyone understand where they are today, where they are going, and the path that will be taken to get to where they want to be. This path can be drawn out in milestones. Achieving these milestones will help create excitement and a desire to continue toward the next achievement. In other words, short-term goals help to build enthusiasm, and drive motivation which can build loyalty. Servant leadership demands we equip our teams to achieve short-term milestones that lead to bigger and better things. The small and immediate objective cannot be the only reason to be here or else we are not thinking on a grand enough scale to help our team grow and achieve all they can.
It’s important to acknowledge the need for immediate gratification, but also understand that achieving long-term objectives is essential to loyalty and longevity. Multi-year projects broken into several smaller projects help leaders, employees and even stakeholders understand the direction of the company. Servant leadership is not only about encouraging growth and development in team members; it is about demonstrating a commitment to serving the needs of customers, stakeholders and thereby company-wide growth and dependability.
Last, the reason that servant leadership demands a focus on long-term success is that it focuses the company on delivering innovation. As stated earlier, the short-term is too reliant on day-to-day activities and gains, which leaves little room to discuss strategy and where or how a company would like to grow. By shifting gears to the long-term, leadership is forced to ask where they see the business in five years or more, which will likely lead to conversations about where the competition will be in that same timeframe. These conversations intuitively lead to a creative dialogue, with discussions about new products or improvements to old ones. Through servant leadership companies expand their focus to include long-term and innovative objectives.
Short-term focus is good for the coverage of day-to-day processes and projects, but the financial pressure will likely overcome any urgency for company vision or ingenuity, leading to a stressed-out team and a poor business model. However; with a long-term servant leadership mindset, a company can shift focus from the immediate financial obligations to more significant outcomes and innovations that can lead to success, profitability, and longevity. With the company’s focus on the long-term, team members will feel more secure in the direction of the company and customers will have more faith in your ability to meet their needs. |Here at Etech, we pride ourselves on developing consumer-focused solutions that work for your business. If you are in need of a new consumer approach, then contact an Etech representative today, and find out what types of solutions we have for you and your operations.
This blog was earlier published on LinkedIn.