I believe that leadership is not a position: it's a combination of something you are (your character) and some things you do (your skills and competence). I also believe the best model for leadership is that of a servant leader, who leads by serving the needs of people. A servant leader doesn't do others' jobs for them, but rather enables others to learn and make progress toward mutual goals. When a leader creates an environment for personal growth, people rise to their potential and beyond.
Year after year, research continues to report that what motivates or demotivates individuals within organizations, and what has the greatest impact on individual performance and attitude, is their leader. A leader sets the tone and creates the environment for individual growth, development, and performance. It is the culture that a leader creates, nurtures, and sustains that will most affect the individuals within any organization.
Culture tells people how to do what they do, and it determines how well they do it. A healthy people-oriented culture shapes the environment so that people perform to their potential while maximizing the performance of the company. Over the years at Toro, we have evolved two main components in our culture: People values (how we operate) and performance values (what needs to happen to achieve the Toro vision). I am presenting these values here as a model for you to use in understanding your own values, evaluating your own organization, and developing your own personal leadership plan. Toro's people values are:
* Trust and respect for one another.
* Teamwork and win-win partnerships.
* Giving power away.
* Coaching and serving.
* Overtly recognizing small successes and good tries.
* Open, honest, clear communication.
Toro's performance values are:
* Conformance to requirements and standards.
* Customer responsiveness.
* Sustainable growth and profit imperatives.
* Preventing waste by anticipating outcomes and focusing on continuous improvement.
* Adding value through innovation and quality in product and process.
* Bias for action.
In the hope that I have piqued your interest in pursuing the study and possible implementation of a servant leadership model, I present the following personal leadership plan.
Personal leadership plan
I. Cultural situation analysis