This month, our Round Table members evaluated their leadership. They contemplated the “imposter syndrome,” defined as the “persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s efforts or skills.” The groups also discussed the qualities of a good leader and evaluated their leadership skills. The definition and meaning of servant leadership were also discussed.
One member believes that servant leadership is misunderstood and defines servant leadership as stewardship based on Scripture:
2 Corinthians 4:5. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
The Apostle Paul is essentially saying, “I am committed to helping you accomplish Christ’s purpose in your life.” It doesn’t matter where we exercise our leadership, we exercise it in the stewardship of Jesus Christ. What has he created us for? Why has he placed us there? What does he want to accomplish through our organization?
Addressing the “Imposter Syndrome”
The imposter syndrome asks, “am I a fraud?” Do I have the experience to be in the leadership position I am in? One member pointed out that leaders need to be aware that their employees may also deal with imposter syndrome. The difficulty for leaders is that when you are stuck in that mindset, how do you get over your imposter syndrome? How do you help others to get over theirs? Take time to reflect and pray.
One Round Table chair believes it is in humility that you understand what you know and what you don’t know, what you can contribute and what you can’t. As believers, we go to the Father for wisdom. There have been times that this member has felt that he is not as gifted as some of those at his Round Table. He has found peace in understanding that he can contribute what he understands, and he can rely on the expertise of others within the group to add to the discussion. This mindset can be applied to leading a business.
Many people stop their knowledge accumulation as they grow older. We must continue to improve our knowledge every single day or we get left behind. It’s called “stacking” knowledge. Ask yourself what knowledge you gained today to add to the stack of your knowledge from yesterday. Spend your life adding some element of knowledge each day and you get that confidence and belief in yourself, which allows you to step into leadership.
Coaching an Employee
One leader coached one of his managers who needed to discuss a tight deadline that overwhelmed one of their employees. He advised him to speak the truth in love and to humble himself before he talked with an employee who needed help. Speak directly to the identity of the person. Get past the idea of one person is better than the other. He coached him to say, “I didn’t realize the volume of work that was required before the due date tomorrow. I didn’t understand.” This start to the conversation disarms the other person. Employees will respond much more positively if you approach them in that manner than with a belief you are smarter.
Change Your Attitude
One business leader told of an employee whom he dreaded to talk to when he would call. He decided he would change his attitude towards this individual. When he called, the leader would be very chipper and greet him warmly. Over time this tactic changed the dynamic of their relationship and changed the employee’s attitude toward the owner and company in a positive way.
Resources: CBRT is running a series of five articles by Dave Kahle, “How do I integrate my Christian faith with day-to-day business practices?” The March article is available on our website 2023-CEO-March-Briefing-with-Dave-Kahle-1.pdf (thebusinessrt.org). Watch for emails from CBRT each Monday for our Monday Morning Moment and newsletters with more articles from Dave Kahle.
Please mark your calendar for our Kalamazoo Leadership Event featuring CEO Jeannie Henderson, leader of Jeannie Cleaning. Jeannie will share her experience in creating a rewarding and fulfilling business culture. Enjoy breakfast, networking, and interactive discussion.