Learning Activation Ep4. – Servant Leadership


You are going to ensure that you’re fulfilling any mission of any organization. The leaders must be there to support the people and the people are doing the work.


Hi, welcome to another edition of leadership activation. Today I have my guest, which I’m so excited to be able to introduce to you, Pat Falotico go from, what’d he, Robert Greenleaf Institute for Servant Leadership. Hi Pat. And welcome to the program. Hi Terry. Thanks for including me and uh, looking forward to our conversation. Yeah. Um, kind of love just the stark and give people basic introduction to the Green Leaf Institute and a in terms of what it stands for. Sure. So the Rama K Greenleaf Center for Servant leadership was founded in 1964 as the center for applied ethics by Mr Greenleaf after he spent 38 years with at&t. Um, and a few years later he, um, yeah, hand in an essay called the servant as leader, which started this movement of servant leadership in our society, separate from the faith traditions that of course recognize that service is our duty to pay here on earth. Um, Greenleaf recognized that if you’re going to be a great leader, first must be experienced as a servant.

And from there, the center has been really fueling the growth of the Movement for over 50 years. Yeah. It made remarkable kind of progress and it’s got a footprint that is quite global at this point. So that’s pretty impressive. Tell us a little bit about your personal journey though, in terms of how you got there. Uh, so I spent 31 years with IBM before I retired for the first time. Trial retirement didn’t fit me very well. Um, but I must say that when I think about my leadership development journey, I learned at probably one of the best places in the world, uh, to figure out a leadership style that fit me and fit me well. Uh, IBM had wonderful programs for leadership development, but it was really through the people that you had, um, exposure to, you learned the best things that could work and the things that wouldn’t work quite well.

So I began to form my leadership philosophy from a pretty young age when I was entrusted to lead. For the first time and perhaps I wasn’t leading very well at the beginning. Um, perhaps in the late eighties, I was managing and not doing a great job of that. But I learned over time that the best way to help people succeed was to really invest in them in their best possible way. When I retired from IBM, I was trying to figure out what it was going to do and the Robert K Greenleaf center was looking for a new leader. Um, so they might say a match was made. And since then I’ve been on a really intentional journey around servant leadership for the past four years. But I don’t know, you do a lot of speaking, a lot of travel, um, a lot of workshops and, and out evangelizing and basically really trying to, to spread the word but also, um, provide people with some really good handles on exactly what that means and how to show up as a servant leader at work.

So, um, and most recently you took the time and I just, I just applaud you for this. You took the time to actually develop a curriculum that you have put on to the juvie platform. Uh, take a minute and just share with us a little bit about what people would find inside of that program will be. A couple of good takeaways I found is by when we first started the journey, Terry, when you and I talked about putting the Greenleaf servant leadership model onto jerk, uh, onto GV, I thought it would be a great way to give people access to what I do in the classroom. What I found by working with the amazing Gloria Sutherland was that I could go so much deeper on the GB platform than I ever could in eight hours in a classroom. Because what we’re able to do with each part of the Greenleaf servant leadership model is to dig really deep and not just teach something.

We have the opportunity to engage people in practice, and then allow them to reflect so that those learnings become a part of them. Self awareness, listening, whatever it is that you need to develop at a more deeper level. We can do that on Jubi, some so excited about what the technology allows us to do. And it also allows me to speak with a consistent voice to a much broader audience. I can’t be having workshops all over. Where I want this message to teach, but the platform allows me to actually do that, to touch people that I otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to do that with.

I can honestly say it is a quality well done program. So, uh, I’m confident you’re going to get a lot of traction out of that. So, so Pat, lets talk some more about the principles that, I mean some of the things that you teach or somewhat intuitive, it sounds right, but I know there are some things that you have found that are so counterintuitive to the culture, especially the corporate culture.

What would be a couple of those kinds of counterintuitive principles that you’ve, that you’ve come across? Well, um, the counter intuitive starts with the very essence of servant leadership. That point that says to be experienced as a great leader, you must first be a servant. The Concept of Servant inverts the power structure. In most organizations, however, those who have embraced the concept know somewhat intuitively, but don’t practice it, that if you are going to ensure that you’re fulfilling any mission of any organization, the leaders must be there to support the people and the people are doing the work. I learned that as a very young manager at IBM, however, our weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually met annually measured metrics often reverse that and say, okay, I as the leader I’m going to be much more directive so that I can get the outcomes. Helping people see that you can get better outcomes by focusing your energy on the people versus the metric is somewhat counter cultural in our society.

And that’s the essence of what we’re trying to change. And, and you’re right, we teach a lot of things about um, things that we’ve heard before. Self awareness is probably my favorite one. Everyone says, yes, I know everything there is to know about myself. The issue is that’s insufficient. Yeah, you got to know about yourself, but you have to know about the others around you and you have to know about what your impact is on the others around you so that when your being your full, vibrant, powerful self, if that shutting other people down, you got to do something about it. That’s what we teach. So some people might say, that sounds great for you and that sounds really good maybe for some organizations, but culturally that would never fit here. Is there still even at that an opportunity or responsibility for say one offs to be able to have any kind of impact with these principles?

Yeah, I mean, organizationally, if you think about a company like IBM with hundreds of thousands of people having one consistent leadership style is not going to work because you’ve got thousands and thousands of leaders within the organization. You have the opportunity to do something within your own teams and creating these micro-cultures. I’ve heard, uh, Cheryl batch Helder speak of it in, in a approach to servant leadership that if this really grabs you as an individual, and you run a division of a, of an organization or even a small department, applying these principles with your team still will have the opportunity to get great results. And Oh, by the way, the others who are your peers might be just be looking at you and saying what’s happening differently there? Maybe I need to learn from that. So our hope is that we can change the cultures of some of these organizations from inside by convincing what I love to call the ROI crowd, that this is the right investment to make in leadership development.

Fantastic. Hey Pat, it’s been so good to have you on the program today. If people want to know more about, um, the, the greenleaf Institute, and about your work were, where would they go? How, how did they contact you? Is www.greenleaf.org you can learn about all of our programs and especially the Greenleaf servant leadership journey online especially. Hey, thanks so much, pat.

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