Servant Leadership Workplace-Reference Test

The Servant Leadership Reference Test

OK, imagine you’ve just received a great job offer from another company.

More responsibility, better pay, greater advancement potential.

But you’re torn.

Because you like your current job.

You weren’t looking to leave. But this offer kind of fell into your lap.

Also, you need a reference.

What do you do?

Well, if your supervisor is a good servant-leader, you probably have a high level of trust.* So, you wouldn’t be afraid to raise the issue with that supervisor. And “congratulations” is likely to be the first word you hear when you do.  Then, you might sit down together and talk about the offer – weigh its pros and cons – and come to a thoughtful conclusion.

A good servant-leader cares about your team and your company, of course.

But a good servant-leader cares about you, too!

Professionally and personally. A good servant-leader wants what’s best for you.

And, of course, a good servant-leader will gladly give you that reference.

But if you have a crappy supervisor?

Fuggetaboutit, as they say in the parts of Brooklyn that aren’t all hoity-toity now.

A crappy supervisor is going to take your offer as a personal affront. The first word from the crappy supervisor ain’t going to be “congratulations.” More likely, you’ll hear, “How could you let me down after all I’ve done for you?” Or, “You’re really leaving me in the lurch.”

Because a crappy supervisor doesn’t care that much about you.

You’ll probably get the reference. But the process will be stressful.

The servant leadership reference test:

Would your boss be happy you got a great job offer, help you consider it and gladly give you a reference?

Or would your boss receive the news of your great offer selfishly? Get angry or lay a guilt trip on you? Make you sweat about the reference?

The servant leadership reference test is another indicator that tells us whether someone is a servant-leader in the workplace.**

Oh, by the way, if you’re a supervisor: How would you act in the scenario above? How would your direct reports approach you with news of a great job offer?

What do you think? Is the servant leadership reference test a good way to tell whether someone is a servant-leader in the workplace? Let us know.

As always, we appreciate your views.



And don’t fuggetabout downloading our latest ebook, Servant Leadership in the Workplace: A Brief Introduction. It’s free!


* Building a trusting team is one of a servant-leader’s priorities in the workplace: “Servant Leadership – 3 Workplace Priorities”

** There are many indicators that tell us whether someone is a good servant-leader in the workplace. Check out another of my favorites: “The Servant Leadership Succession Test”