The joy of service!

I was re-reading Seth Godin’s book This is Marketing, and one comment stuck out to me. Seth asked the question. Who do you serve? It is a good question that everyone in the workplace should ask themselves. In my career, I serve the teachers and students of the school I work in as an administrator. I want to share a practical project I am doing in my workplace to serve others. I hope it inspires other leaders regardless of your field to consider using your position as a leader to serve. To serve with deeds, not just words.

The end of the year is a busy time in the workplace. It is also a stressful time. If you are a leader, consider planning fun activities for your team.

For the Holidays, I am doing a staff spirit week. Each day has a different event. Here is what we are doing.
Monday- Sports Team Jersey Day with Holiday flare.
Tuesday- Crazy Holiday Sock Day.
Wednesday- Toy Drive
Thursday- The Day Before X-mas break Pajama Day with milk and cookies.
Friday- Ugly Sweater Contest.

To increase participation, I am going to give away Crazy Corny Holiday Prizes each day. I also am going to participate in each event. So I will be wearing pajamas, crazy socks, and an ugly sweater. I won’t give myself prizes.

I believe that as a leader, it is my job to carry out the details of my title. I also think that I need to contribute to the culture of the workplace. The teachers at my school have stressful jobs. They work with a high-risk population of children with special needs. They also face the stress of advanced degree programs, being parents, financial stress, family responsibilities, and individual health challenges.

I challenge other leaders to consider what your employees are going through. Many times I have been around leaders who say what happens outside of the workplace should stay outside of the workplace. Yes, this statement is true. We need people to be professional in performing their day to day duties. If you have team members that are behaving poorly it must be addressed. This post isn’t for that situation. Each day someone in your workplace may be having a hard time. Most of the time people have a smile on their face, but what is going on? Think about what it feels like when you are going through something hard, maybe it is a relative undergoing cancer treatment, maybe it is a bill, your marriage could be in a time of crisis. As a leader, I don’t think that consideration of other people’s struggles a bad thing or something to be afraid of. I think it is the opposite. If people feel considered and cared for, they will work harder. The workplace can be a place of peace for them.

The spirit week is a way to create an oasis in the workplace. I hear the term servant leader a lot. Being a servant leader isn’t a slogan, a book title, or a buzz word. It is a lifestyle. One example that stuck out to me was the past couple of weeks. At my company at both holiday parties, the CEO and The Managing Director got in line for food last and served tables. That is servant leadership. I love work events where I get to help, I set up chairs, I stay for cleanup, I carry out the trash. Yes, I can delegate it out, Yes I can submit a ticket to maintenance. I serve both in my head and in my body.  Do you know the old saying ” It is better to give than receive “? It is true! I find joy in serving others. Leadership is a hard job, and service is a great way to manage stress. It is fun to look for gifts for people. It is fun to make other people happy. So if you are a leader in your workplace or you’re aren’t, come up with a way to serve others this week.

2 thoughts on “The joy of service!

  1. Hey Steve, you are a great example of a servant leader. Can you share photos of these themed days? That would be fun to see.

    If you went through this post and highlighted key points, which would you highlight? I would highlight, “To serve with deeds, not just words.” How you relate this to your leadership at work and the CEO and Managing Director serving tables hit the point home.

    Your tone and style is simple and laid back which makes the whole article relatable. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I can tell what a great leader you must be, Steven. Has servant leadership always come naturally for you? I wondered how someone might take steps to become someone who more frequently acted with servant leadership, if it didn’t come naturally for them. I agree that when you take people’s real lives into account and give them space to be human, it makes them work harder…they feel valued and so when the dust has cleared, they can be happy to come back and make a difference.

    I think you’re so strong in this that you could build a whole course around becoming a servant leader! You should consider it!

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