AIM IT Leadership Academy: Servant Leadership & Communication Skills

This months  AIM IT Leadership Academy session was on Servant Leadership & Communication Skills held at CSG International.

The schedule for the day was to work on Communications and Servant Leadership. The main concept behind Servant Leadership is a leader challenging teams to go farther, reach higher, innovate and have fun doing it. As we  learn concepts of being a servant leader, different communication skills will be introduced to support the various leadership styles of individuals.


The morning started off with the concept of Communication is a simple thing. In a organization it is how you communicate up and down that maters.

On the table were Agile Transformations Workbook and work sheet. This is the first time through the AIM program that we had a workbook to guide us along with the day of learning.

Communicate by vision and strategy is Servant Leadership. The facilitator asked the question “What makes your investment today worthwhile?” “What is your focus today?”If we do “X” then we achieve “Y” The same level of tasks are communicated each direction in an organization just communication is different.

Why do Strategic Initiatives fail?

  • No buy-in from teams
  • Not well defined
  • Too large – not sized correctly
  • Acceptive to change

The goal of leadership in an organization is to communicate in a way:

  • Vision
  • Strategy
  • Execution

Conceptual Thinker are Dot Connectors. If you dig deeper in opportunities.

My Strategic Challenge/ opportunity: If I have someone to explain my problem then I understood my problems in the vision. The group did a exercise were we went to the hall way and told there people in 3 minutes our problem.

How do I become a strategic planner?  A way to start a vision is doing a exercise called Force Field Analysis.


Force Field Analysis

Communicating Up

When you communicate up how much is said. Who has a leader that wants details? Summary Form. C Suite Communications is a thing. Communications across the peers:

  • Present with Confidence
  • Tone and Actions on how you would want to be presented with.

Great Companies = Great Teams =  Great Leaders

Reflection Time: What are the traits of influential change leaders?

  • Attitude
  • Positive Energy
  • Listen to Understand the response
  • Appreciate of what you are told
  • Story of doing it for themselves
  • Am I influential person?

Organizations are changing: Does Big Eat Small? No, Fast beats Slow. Which really mean Innovation plus Creativity will equal Fast!

What is Inspiring for the Team you could lead. Is it a leader who get in the trenches? People want to know what Impact they have on company. For what I am doing, does matter?

Does my communication strategy builds better relationships with the team? There are verbal, visual boards, and communication strategy for peers. Should a person give Specific Feedback or as a group. How does a leader talk non technical to technical and not feel bad.

When you receive new information. Learn how to listen. Recap Conversation to confirm discussion. Verbal into information in some kind of document.  If you got something wrong in a conversation then we have something  to agree with what’s wrong.

There is always a story that not everyone one is part of or know about. Is your engagement authentic? Is there something else I can help manage?

Saying “Thank you for telling me, but it help me understand” start the process of how to ask questions without Assumptions?  Keep asking questions to find out what people are thinking? The reason being is building trust with someone:

  • Speed to Trust
  • Trust is a business enabler
  • Faster Efficiency is base on TrustWhen we trust our team or other people, it is actually acknowledging that we know what’s wrong and working on it. Trust is earned through actions of those conversations. Always value trust over command and control.

Toward the end of the communication section we watched this video Conscious Leadership Group

Also doing the break one of the students talked about a book he is reading called Radical Candor.


Servant Leadership

Unhealthy Leader vs Healthy Leader Exercise

This exercise was breaking out into groups. One group did Unhealthy and the the other did healthy.

A term used during this time was plant seeds to grow. If you plant weeds then you are spread out to thin.


Best Leaders say ” I have so much more to learn!”

  • Focus on Value
  • Recognize Others
  • Foster Teamwork


Learning to give feedback takes time and is a skill. When ever giving feedback identify 3 things going well, and 1 not going well.

A person is hired to be a talented team member. Leaders provide guidance to those team members and let team do what is best. This is when our leadership style matter?

How do you go from solving problems to facilitator coach. How do you break cycle to be a coach? Are you a great contributor or Coach/Facilitator?

  • What does success look like this week?
  • Outcome vs Output of a team or person.
  • Success is to measure!
  • What does Done look like?
  • What do we do well?
  • Learn to Listen genuinely
  • Create a safe environment
  • Give team credit before yourself in this coaching
  • Stories are filled in what makes sense at a point of time.
  • Focus on Growth of People

This was a mentally challenging session. I believe I learned the most of this session in regards on what I need to work on for my leadership style.

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