As someone who has scaled businesses and led technology teams for over 25 years, I’ve come to recognize that effective leadership is not about exerting control but about empowering others. The Marine Corps taught me the value of a cohesive unit and how each member, from the frontlines to the back office, plays a critical role in the mission’s success.
However, it was during my time at Oracle and Always Cool Brands that I encountered and fully embraced the concept of Servant Leadership. In today’s blog, let’s delve into what it means to be a Servant Leader and how this approach can radically transform your team dynamics and overall business success.
For those unfamiliar with the term, Servant Leadership is a leadership philosophy where the primary goal is to serve. It’s a concept coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970 but has roots that go much deeper, often attributed to ancient philosophies and religious texts. The Servant Leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first, and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. In this model, leadership isn’t about accumulating power but dispersing it.
Here are the key elements that define Servant Leadership:
By embracing these principles, leaders can form more agile, resilient, and effective teams that are better prepared to navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving business landscape.
At Oracle Cloud, adopting Servant Leadership meant breaking down hierarchical barriers, encouraging open dialogue, and facilitating team growth through mentoring and skill development programs. We successfully integrated this model alongside Network Reliability Engineering (NRE) practices, which is an SRE Team, to achieve a remarkable 58% YoY reduction in customer outage minutes.
The journey towards becoming a Servant Leader is ongoing, but it’s one that I firmly believe in. It aligns with my mission of empowering teams to deliver high-quality, sustainable solutions that benefit our communities and our planet.
So, the next time you find yourself in a leadership position, ask yourself: Are you leading to serve, or serving to lead?