First Impressions Count
First Impressions Count
Is your intention to serve or be served?
“Having the tenacity to lead, and the humility to serve are the key ingredients of Transformative Leadership.” ~ Amir Ghannad
When it comes to leadership and first impressions, others want to know three things about you: Can I trust you? Can you help me? Do I matter to you? By choosing to serve others, high impact leaders answer these questions with action.
I was a front line, blue-collar factory worker for the first 10 years of my career and spent the next 10 years in direct support of those amazing people on the front lines in the blue-collar workforce, not from an office but from the shop floor.
I’m not a softy. I say this because I’ve heard so many in the blue-collar industry whine and moan that servant leadership is a weak way to lead.
They say, “That stuff won’t work in the blue-collar world; we’re different.” Usually, my fellow military veterans are the worst. What they say is, “We need more command and control. People just need to do what they’re told to do, and everything will run smoothly.” What they are all really saying without knowing it, because they don’t know what they don’t know, is they are too weak to lead this way. People making those and similar comments are definitely standing underneath the manager’s umbrella, not the leader’s umbrella.
Note: You can now listen to the 17 part series “Managing People vs Leading People” starting with Part 1 of 17 on my Blue Collar Leadership podcast.
Insecure leaders, managers of people, are like cancer in an organization and should be improved or removed. What is always interesting to me is this: the same people that say “servant leadership is a weak leadership model” prefer to work with a secure, servant leader instead of for a dictating, insecure manager. It’s good enough for them, but it’s not good enough for their team.
They prefer it when looking up at their boss. But, they don’t want their team to see it when they look up at them. Why is that? Because becoming a high impact, servant leader takes a lot of internal work. The “it’s weak” comments are an excuse people make because they don’t want to do the character work required to transform themselves and their leadership style. Doing that work is not easy. It’s hard. But, it’s always worth it!
What about you? Do you prefer to work for a weak and insecure leader? I imagine your answer is: absolutely not. Would you like to work with a strong and secure leader that is exactly the opposite of an insecure leader? I imagine your answer is: absolutely. Will you be that kind of leader?
Servant leaders are strong and secure, not weak and insecure. They are the strongest and most secure among us. My hope is you’re strong enough to stand with us.
There’s plenty of room for you on the leadership mountain because most leaders prefer to stand at the bottom and watch the high impact leaders do all of the climbing. Managers of people prefer to rest comfortably on their position at the base of the mountain. Why? Because it’s easy.
It’s much easier to be given a position by your boss because you can manage well than it is to earn respect from your team because you can lead well.
Climbing the leadership mountain gets harder the higher you go, but the higher you climb the easier it is to lead and influence people. Going back down and helping others climb the leadership mountain is even more difficult because it’s no longer about you, although it did start with you. That is servant leadership.
When a climber reaches the summit of Mt. Everest is he considered a strong climber? Absolutely! If he chooses to go back down and help others make their way to the top, does he appear even stronger? Of course, he does. No one would say someone who climbed Mt. Everest, and then chose to help others climb it, is a weak leader. That is servant leadership.
Servant leadership or high impact leadership simply means your mission is to help other people succeed.
There’s nothing weak about that. And, you can’t do it unless you have developed your character and competency first. That takes strength. Those with weak character will rest on their position, manage their team, look out for themselves, and expect their team to serve them.
My intention is to help you understand high impact leadership, or servant leadership as it is often referred to, is simply about helping others succeed. Do you prefer to be helped by high impact leaders that have gone before you and want to see you succeed too? High impact leadership is reserved for those with the strongest of character.
“Without a doubt, one of the most significant factors in Chick-fil-A’s cultural sustainability has been its commitment to the principle of servant leadership…We recognize the tremendous responsibility not only to lead, but also to serve those we lead.” ~ Dee Ann Turner
What our clients are saying…
“My first words are, GET SIGNED UP! This training is not, and I stress, not your everyday leadership seminar! I have never been apart of anything like it. After 30 years in technology and two years in Concrete Construction, I have attended dozens and sent hundreds to the so-called ‘Leadership-Training.’ I can tell you that while all of the courses, classes, webinars, and seminars, had good intentions, nothing can touch what Mack and Ria Story provide. I just wish I had it 20 years ago…I could go on-and-on. We had 98% in attendance and 100% of the team that attended said that they were ‘blown-away, they did not see their conviction and passion coming.’ Many thanks, Mack and Ria!” ~ Sam McLamb, COO/VP CMP Pumping, Inc.
Sam provided the words above in a formal LinkedIn recommendation a few days after taking advantage of the special blue-collar industry offer below.
What I will do for you…
If you or your leaders will invest in your team, I will too because I value growing and developing the great people in the blue-collar workforce regardless of their title or position. I’ll pay all of my expenses to travel anywhere in the USA to conduct up to 4 hours of complimentary, on site leadership development training for any size group, large or small, at any level. This is my money and my time, not corporate money on company time. Why do I make this offer? Because, I have a passion for growing and developing the often overworked, overlooked, and underdeveloped blue-collar workforce and those who lead them.
Click here to watch a short testimonial from a blue-collar leader who went through many of my 1/2 day on site, leadership development workshops.
What you must do for your team…
Purchase 200 copies (direct from me for $3,600) of any combination of my six Blue-Collar Leadership Series books and distribute them to your blue-collar workforce. (We’ve been paid up to $20,000 to speak. However, we waive our speaking fees for blue-collar leaders who are willing to invest in their team and take advantage of this special offer.)
These books all have 30 three page chapters. Each chapter takes only 6-7 minutes to read which makes them perfect for daily or weekly book studies. Your team can read them on the spot. No preparation. No homework.
Learn more about the 6 books (available as paperback, eBook, and AudioBook) below that are included in this special offer:
- Blue-Collar Leadership & Teamwork: 30 Traits of High Impact Players
- Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines (available in Spanish too)
- Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision: Unleash Your Team’s Potential
- Blue-Collar Kaizen: Leading Lean & Lean Teams
- Change Happens: Leading Yourself and Others through Change
- Defining Influence: Increasing Your Influence Increases Your Options
I’m happy to get on a complimentary call at 334-728-4143. Let’s make it happen!
I encourage you to be a river, not a reservoir. Please share my blogs with others if you find value in them. I believe in abundance and write them to help others become more effective, successful, and significant.
I help leaders engage the front line to improve the bottom line.