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O Tidings of Comfort and Joy

In America it is the season of Christmas. The familiar holiday carols are playing on the radio. The Christmas trees are decorated. The malls are full of shoppers hunting for gifts. And the calendar is full of holiday parties. The season is both a festive celebration and on the other hand, a stressful list of stuff to get done. So how do we think about this season in the workplace? I think the words of the f ...

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Creating a Great Workplace

A Popeyes employee sent me an email recently. He said he had been working on a school project with his daughter on the Maslow theory of human needs. He wondered if I had considered how this theory applies to the workplace and to servant leadership. My response … if leaders created workplaces that met the needs of people, the people would be more engaged in their work, and they would perform at a higher leve ...

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Lead Like It Matters, Today

Have you given any thought to whether your leadership will matter today? Saturday, I sat on the 50 yard line and watched my nephew play football for his college team. In addition, to enjoying a good game and feeling very proud of my nephew, I found watching the coaching staff as interesting as the game. In sports, the coaches lead like it matters, because their leadership literally determines the outcome of ...

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Traits of a Servant Leader: Compassionate Collaboration

In American culture, we admire and celebrate individual contributors. We hold up CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs, community leaders who have accomplished great things, and we attach those great things to a person, more often than a team. Even in our sporting events, we tend to celebrate the big name player, over the team. Without realizing it, we often arrive at work with this mindset of individual contrib ...

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Traits of Servant Leaders: Putting People First

How many places have you worked where they SAID, "we put our people first?" And how many places was it a true statement? Putting people first is an essential pillar of servant leadership based on the writings of Sipe and Frick in the Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership. But the words have been so overused and abused, I almost decided not to write a blog this week. Who would listen to ANOTHER article about p ...

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Five Traits of Leaders Who Serve

Several of you have asked me what traits I look for that I believe are essential to servant leadership.  One good book on servant leadership, “Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership: Practicing the Wisdom of Leading by Serving”, by James Sipe, says there are seven core attributes of a servant leader and 21 behaviors to look for. This is an excellent treatise on the subject.  For today, I'd like to share my fiv ...

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Practice Makes Perfect

"It is easy to play any musical instrument:  all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself." - Composer, J.S. Bach One day I was in a Popeyes restaurant observing a busy lunch hour in a high volume restaurant. Despite the flood of urgent, hungry guests, the crew in this restaurant was getting the food out, on time and with a smile. It was like watching an or ...

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Caring for the Vineyards

In April, my husband and I visited Napa Valley, California for the first time and as you would expect, we toured the vineyards and wineries of this region. The first thing you notice in Napa Valley is the beauty of the area – rolling hills covered with grape trellises – classic farm homes – two lane country roads. It is stunning, simple natural agricultural land at its best. As we learned about winemaking, ...

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