Monday, November 6, 2023

Leadership Service

Whether you prefer an authoritative leadership style, a lenient one, or something in between, one factor that can truly enhance your effectiveness in leadership is to see yourself as serving the needs of your employees even as you serve the needs of your company or organization. Often these two sets of needs will coincide. The needs of your employees are the needs of a well-run organization as well. When they do contradict, seeing yourself as a kind of servant to your employees can help you to better weigh your priorities in both the long and short terms. 

Top-down Hierarchies

The traditional form of hierarchy in business organizations is known as a top-down or vertical structure. This means that you have a clear ranking from CEO to mail-room clerk, and everyone understands their place. This structure has both advantages and disadvantages. If you are a leader in this type of organization, it is helpful to understand what those advantages and disadvantages are in order to better serve the needs of your employees.


  • You always know who is in charge and who reports to whom.
  • Decision-making is efficient.
  • Advancement up the career ladder is clearly defined.


  • The potential for power-based politics and maneuvering can result in flattering and yes-man type behavior rather than providing accurate information.
  • Employees at the bottom may feel less of a stake in the goals of a company.
  • If you have a weak leader, you will have a weak organization.
  • Information from management and higher-ups is prone to distortion as it trickles down through multiple filters.
  • Both management and employees may have a distorted understanding of what the other group does and has to deal with.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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