I have had the privilege of giving keynotes on servant leadership all over the world. I’m passionate about this leadership style, and I am always reading and learning all I can about it.
That’s why I am thrilled to talk with Howard Behar. Howard is the former President of Starbuck’s North America and the founding President of Starbucks International. When he joined, Starbucks had 28 stores and he helped grow it to over 15,000 stores on five continents. He was also on the Board of Directors for twelve years.
What I love about Howard is this: he could have stopped and enjoyed the fruits of his labor. But he instead mentors and teaches on servant leadership. He wrote two books:
Leadership is often linked to power, and it can unfortunately also be linked with arrogance. I believe most leaders are positive people who want to use their power and influence for good. Most people don’t start a career plan with the goal to become arrogant, either. And yet it happens.
How should leaders use power? How do leaders protect against becoming arrogant? How do leaders stay humble?
As one of the early endorsers of The Leadership Killer: Reclaiming Humility in an Age of Arrogance, I had the opportunity to interact with authors Bill Treasurer and John Havlik about their work. They have known each other for decades, but they took decidedly different paths. Bill is founder of Giant Leap Consulting and has authored several books on leadership. John Havlik is a retired Navy SEAL who led special operations teams around the world for decades. The combination of civilian and military leadership experience was also an intriguing aspect to their work together. I reached out to them to talk about the important subjects raised in the book.
Every leader must answer this critical question: how will I use my leadership power?
It’s important to acknowledge that leadership involves the use of power to affect results. In fact, a leader is deemed successful or unsuccessful based on the magnitude and consistency of results achieved. As a leader grows in effectiveness and influence, the more power they are given to, potentially, affect more results. The leaders we admire most, and the ones we consider to be most noble, are those who use and distribute power in a way that best serves the interests of the people and teams they are charged with leading. The challenge is, though, as a leader grows in power, the more susceptible they become to the trappings of power. Emperor Palpatine, who was Darth Vader’s mentor and master in the Star Wars movies, said, “All those who gain power are afraid to lose it…even the Jedi.”
For example, in their annual report, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that of the 2700 cases of fraud across more than 100 countries, perpetrators who had worked at their organizations for more than 10 years caused six times as much financial damage (over the median loss) than fraudsters who had worked there less than one year. One interesting contributing factor is that often as a person rises through the leadership ranks, they become subject to less direct oversight, and it becomes more tempting and easier to hide crimes. In other words, when leaders abuse their power it is often because they’re convinced they won’t get caught.
“All those who gain power are afraid to lose it…even the Jedi.” -Emperor Palpatine
February 19th 1968 may not be marked as a monumental day in history, but it marked the start of an unexpected yet extraordinarily influential television run.
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood debuted that day and would have a marked impact on a generation. Just hearing him sing the opening song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” transports us to another time. His message of caring for your neighbor is one that the world seems to miss more with each passing year.
In memory of the man who debuted so many years ago, here are some of his inspiring quotes.
Why not brighten the world a bit by sharing them in your neighborhood?
“You are special. You’re special to me. There’s only one in this wonderful world.” -Fred Rogers