My mother didn’t raise me on fairytales when I was a small girl.
She loved history and enjoyed telling stories about heroes from the past. Napoleon Bonaparte, a great conqueror from France, was and will always be my favorite hero.
As a young Francophone girl, Napoleon was a great leader. He was also a brilliant, resourceful, well-respected, and respected throughout time. His legacy of leadership is what I want to be: A little, loved victor.
Source: Denis Jarvis
Napoleon was humble, persistent and innovative. He was also very infectious. He is most well-known for his ability to lead by example and not allowing himself to be considered superior to his troops. Napoleon would call each soldier by their name and take the time to get acquainted with many of them. He was known for inspiring his people with ideas and goals that were beyond their wildest dreams. Napoleon charmed France; it was like loving one’s country.
Napoleon, no matter how kind his history was to him, epitomized servant leadership, a skill that every project manager should strive to master.
What is servant leadership?
Although the idea has been around for millennia now, Robert K. Greenleaf was the first to coin the term in 1970’s essay, “The Servant as Leader.”
It begins with the instinctive desire to serve others, to serve first. Then, conscious choice leads to the desire to lead… The hardest test, and the most difficult to administer is: Does the person being served grow as a person? Are they able to serve others and become more independent, wiser, more free, and more self-reliant? What about the impact on the less privileged? They will benefit, or at the very least not be further deprived.
This means that servant leaders place their team above themselves and focus on the goal.
Greenleaf was the first to summarize the idea of a servant leader. Others have written about it for centuries.
Consider this: The Bible says, “Not so with me.” Instead, anyone who wants to be great among you must serve as your servant and everyone else must be a slave. “For even the Son of Man was not born to be served, but rather to serve and to give his life for many,” (Mark 10:43-45).
Gandhi stated, “The best way for you to find yourself is to give yourself away to others.”
Nelson Mandela said, “I stand before you not as prophet, but rather as a humble servant for you, the people.”
Through generations, the idea of servant leadership was passed down from the greatest leaders in world history.
Now it’s time to help project managers use this valuable information.
Step 1: Balance serving your employees with serving the company
Which comes first, the team or the business? The team is not possible without the business. The business cannot be viable without the team. Your service should be equally shared between both. This means that sometimes the company’s short-term interests must be prioritized by the team, and vice versa. Too often project managers believe they are only interested in the bottom line. They don’t realize that long-term investments in supporting players can often help to improve the bottom line.
Step 2: Practice grateful leading
Stephen R. Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People wrote that “Next to physical survival,” people measure their self-worth by the feedback they receive from others. Project managers have likely received a lot of help from their companies and schooling, which they are undoubtedly grateful for. Your career advancement shouldn’t be the end of your gratitude.
Leading team members with gratitude is a valuable skill that every PM should learn. It must be authentic or it can come off as patronizing. Yo