TZL 1474 (web)



A culture of servant leadership

No one is “above” the work of others, and developing staff this way ensures succession within the firm will carry the values of the firm for years to come.

W hat actually defines a company’s culture? Is it the values or goals of a firm, the work environment, or is it simply a combination of written policies and procedures? These are the actual definitions from internet searches and articles I found. But, if you simply ask your staff about the culture of your firm, the common response will come down to the people.

Joseph Lauk, PE

It is about the relationships. It is about interactions with leaders and the teamwork within the company. Sure, the values of the firm may drive these a bit, but it really comes down to how leaders in the firm live out those values and develop staff according to those values. I recently asked some staff to define our culture and the resounding response I received was that it’s a collaborative atmosphere where everyone is willing to help, regardless of position or title. This type of culture starts with leadership and taking a servant-leader approach. This is what drew me to the firm. Principals who were plugged into the work, staff who were willing to work across discipline lines, and everyone always willing to go out of their way to help. PGA was a much smaller firm then and that culture was somewhat easier to achieve. I’m proud to say that,

even with the growth of the firm, our principals are still active in the day-to-day work, workload is shared between offices, and most importantly, everyone works together to meet deadlines. We’ve partly been successful in this area because we have expanded leadership with our growth and have remained relatively flat in organizational structure. I have not taken any formal classes on servant leadership, but I have learned a great deal from the servant-leaders I have served under – and with – in my career. These are folks who have consistently put the team in front of personal accolades, who are often the first in the door or last out the door, who consistently offer assistance to staff on any task –

See JOSEPH LAUK, page 4


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