Chapter 4 – Leading with service

Serving colleagues and customers through common touch leadership

Serving - leading with serviceChapter 4 explores the idea of leaders who serve, both employees and customers, and who demonstrate the common touch by being in touch.

It’s a chapter about upside-down thinking.  To lead you need to serve.  To build customer loyalty you need to be loyal.  And sometimes, as we shall see, to make a big impact you need to focus on the small things.

Like a small alteration to a sandwich barcode that saved one company half-a-million pounds.  Or how small things can have an even bigger impact still, such as when one simple act of courtesy transformed a young boy and his entire nation.

But important as the common touch may be, keeping it is sometimes not that easy.  When the pressure is on, leaders may find the problems at hand can seem all-consuming, which is when it’s easy to lose touch.  So in this chapter we look for answers from a leader known for being in touch, and from the intriguing story of two 19th-century British Prime Ministers.  Not to mention from another well-known leader, talking about: “the best leadership I ever gave”.

Chapter 4 contents

  • The Poor Aren’t Credit Worthy
  • Working on trust
  • Who is credit worthy now?
  • Defining moments
  • Small actions, big events
  • The half-million £ sandwiches
  • The multi-million £ pellets
  • “The best leadership I ever gave…..”
  • Upside-down leadership
  • Servant leadership
  • Leaders as stewards
  • Cathedral thinkers
  • Upside-down thinking: what’s the meaning of business?
  • A visionary and successful way of doing business
  • Knowledge, power and profit
  • The legacy of leadership
  • Dunnhumby and a basket full of loyalty
  • Loyalty and the common touch
  • Simple leadership
  • Simple success
  • Simple but not sure-fire
  • A simple thank-you
  • Who needs to shop there?
  • Talking with crowds, walking with Kings
  • Sharing the common touch
  • A PhD in the common touch?
  • Shining a light on leadership
  • From serving to sharing

The first 4 S’s will certainly make a difference to leadership in our organizations.  But if we are to make uncommon leadership a reality, it needs to become far more common, which we explore in the next chapter: Leading with others.

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