Servant Leadership

Henry Calderon, Engineering Manager at Mismo

Remember when people used to say boss when they were describing something that was really cool? Like: “those shoulders pads are really boss, man” – Michael Scott

During the early stages of my career, I was reluctant to move to management positions due to the concerns with the figure of a boss, a word whose practical meaning is the antithesis of everything I have aspired to be: lazy, disconnected, deaf ear; like Zeus, sitting on Mount Olympus.

After some good conversations with management in the organizations I belonged to, I understood that I was afraid to become a boss, but I wanted to become a leader.

I started to learn about the different management styles, and their tradeoffs, and after some time and retrospective, I found out my niche, Servant Leadership. I am deeply connected since due to my background, I think it’s necessary to have a humanistic approach when you are working closely with people.

Servant leadership is all about the people that you are leading.

You could say that there are different numbers of principles: empathy, communication, etc, but honestly, there is only one: your number 1 customer is your team.

If you look after your team’s necessities both as group and individually, they will feel the connection with the organization and the goals, and they will become owners at the same time of the processes they are working with, since it’s not only a biweek exchange of goods and services, but they feel a strong connection with the company.

At this point you might think, everything sounds good, but, how can we do that? As Kevin Blanchard said, the key part of this, it’s to focus on the process and not on the evaluation. He provides an example that during his years as professor, we would give his students the final exam in the first class, and through the classes he would teach them the answers, because an arbitrary evaluation without proper preparation (from both professor and student) would result in a misleading grade. And this is the key as servant leaders, we need to provide all the tools to our team members, so they can perform the job that they are required to do, but at the same time explaining why, and always asking if the approach on paper is the right one, because there’s no such thing as a perfect or bulletproof process, everything can be improved.

And in order for servant leadership to be fully effective, the change of mentality needs to be across the organization, because it means that all the upper levels of management would be serving the middle levels, and so on and so forth.

Here at Mismo, we facilitate outsourced engineering teams for clients all around the world and this is a key conversation in our organization.  How do we empower our engineers to bring these topics up with clients and help to lead the industry in the right direction.

If you’d like to engage with us on this, or just to hear about how our remote engineers can take your business to the next level, get in touch today.  We’d love to hear your story and see how we can help.


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