The greatest role of a business leader

The greatest role and best mindset of a business leader is that of a servant versus a king. Very few people will follow a self-centered and self-serving business leader. We have all seen leaders that act like the king only to look up one day and realize they have lost the trust and faith of the company.

I remember one of the most impressionable business moments I ever had. We were meeting Johnny Morris who founded Bass Pro Shops in their Springfield Missouri headquarters. We were walking with Johnny through the call center which probably had about 200 people in cubicles. It was clearly not planned, but as Johnny walked through, people started standing up to say hello to him. They ignored all of us. Ha. What I saw was Johnny calling every person by name and asking about their spouses and children by name. I have never been more impressed by a leader. We then got to the board room, there were probably 12 people at the meeting and everyone was talking about various things when Johnny spoke up to start the meeting. He spoke so quietly that we all had to lean forward just to hear the man. The meeting went well but I learned one of the most valuable business lessons that day. The best leaders take on the role of serving the employees and company rather than acting like a king.

This is good lesson for families, churches, civic organizations and business. Too often we see the self-centered leader trying to lead through control, intimidation and fear. These people almost always fail in the long term. People may tolerate it for a while, but in the end, people want to work with people they trust and believe in. I can tell you that the greatest leaders I have ever met didn’t have arrogant attitudes, big diamond rings and slicked back gelled hair. They were all approachable transparent real people who didn’t need to impress anyone.

Even our savior took on the role of a servant when he could have clearly called a legion of angels and took on the role of a king. KT

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