Marcel Schwantes: Founder at Leadership from the Core.
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How can we create workplaces where every voice matters, everyone thrives and finds meaning, and change and innovation happen naturally?
Marcel Schwantes: You know that’s a loaded question because it implies that you have the right people in the right leadership spot. I think it was John Maxwell who said, “everything starts and ends with leadership.” So I have to point at the people you have within your organization who make decisions and question whether those people are human-centered leaders.
Human-centered leaders have a natural understanding of what it takes for humans to succeed.
I won’t even call them servant leaders yet. I will call them human-centered leaders who have a natural understanding of what it takes for humans to succeed. Human-centered leaders tap into human emotions and understand what behaviors drive high performance. That solves the culture question and everything else you mentioned in your question.
When you tap into human potential, people are going to go above and beyond. They are going to be more creative and innovative when they feel psychologically safe and valued intrinsically. That’s what happens when you have human motivation. People give their best. When you remove fear from the workplace, you set up those kinds of work environments that lead to all the things you just said in your question.
How do we get an employee’s full attention and best performance?
Marcel: I think every answer I give will be biased based on my working philosophy of leading by valuing the human. Valuing them not only as employees but also as a people. There’s always a person before they’re an employee. It always starts with building the relationship because when you do that, you show people that you value them as an individual and show that you care.
Meeting the needs of others empowers people to scale mountains.
This philosophy is also consistent with the research on servant leadership. The research says that when you meet the needs of others, it empowers them to scale mountains, which addresses the business outcome question. Sure, you want reasonable relationships, but not at the expense of results. When you do that, you get both.
Note: This is a preview of the full interview. The complete interview was selected by Apress for publication and continues in The Future of the Workplace.