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A Manifesto: The Powerful Value of Servant Leadership in the Call Center Industry the Impact of the Traditional Power Model

Since the dawn of the industrial revolution the power model of leadership has been the most common and accepted method of managing most businesses.  It was “Machiavellian”.  It drew parallels from the mechanization of industry and the efficiencies of the military.  The power model’s favorite tools were the use of external pressure, threats and manipulation to make people perform efficiently.   The power model treated people as commodities to be “used up” until they were no longer “useful” to their employer.  Employees burned out only to be replaced by another “cog in the wheel”.  People lost “heart” and their desire to be great was stifled by the fruit of the power model. 

Exploring why the servant leadership model is superior to the power model is a worthy goal.  My intention is to present thought provoking ideas that will benefit those in our industry who are looking for the most effective means to improving their customer’s experience.  Let’s look at the contrasts between the two models to get a better understanding of what these differing leadership models are and their impact on those they lead.  

(Use the “comments” section to answer the following questions.  I’d love to get your thoughts along with specific examples you have witnessed in your call center or in life.)

1. The power model of leadership RETARDS the potential of the individual and their desire to care about and be engaged in their work.  Why?

The servant model of leadership UNLOCKS the potential of the individual and inspires them to care about and be engaged their work.  Why? 

2. The power model of leadership is focused on the leader and their own appetite for acquiring power.  Why?

The servant model of leadership is focused on their followers and what they need to be successful.  Why?

3. The power leader views “power” as a scarce resource that is difficult to acquire. Why?  

The servant leader views “power” as an abundant resource that is easily acquired.  Why?  

4. The power leader views their knowledge as an aspect of what makes them powerful.  Thus, the power leader is reticent to share their knowledge with their followers.  Why?  

The servant leader views their knowledge as a means to empower those they lead.  Thus, the servant leader is confident to thoroughly share it with their followers.  Why?

5. The power leader creates dependency in those they lead. Why?

 The servant leader creates independence in those they lead.  Why?

6. The power leader strives to centralize power.  Why?

The servant leader strives to de-centralize power.  Why?

Coming up: more details on the contrasts between the two models and comments on your answers.