The Upside-down Org Chart

A few years ago I participated in a leadership training program with High Tech Ministries. Over the course of a year, we read a dozen books, one of which was ‘The Servant’ (reviews). It left a big impact on me.

The book was about servant leadership. A topic I touched on briefly last night.

Basically, servant leadership flips the traditional model of business thinking completely upside down. The idea is that the role of a leader is to serve their team and I think it works in business and in startups. It looks like this:

Now obviously, the CEO still serves the customer and makes stuff, but the team does not serve the CEO. I’d be lying if I said I understand and live it all but I feel like running a startup is teaching me the virtues of servant leadership. It requires strong core values & culture, having the right people on board, selflessness, and empathy, etc.

I’m dedicated to working harder at these principals and would love to hear others thoughts on this. What do you think about servant leadership and startups?

btw – I hear Joel Spolsky is on board :)

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