An interviewer asked me this question recently during a podcast interview and I wanted to use it in today’s Ask Katrina. The question is:

“Hey Katrina, if you had to pick the one key attribute of a leader, what would it be?”

My answer was and is this: the ability to serve.

I know it sounds cliche and almost trite that we talk about servant leadership.

It has always been this buzzword or phrase in the corporate world.

The reality is that to be a true leader, you’ve got to be a servant leader.

We go on and on and on and have these debates in these conversations around being a servant leader. But the fact of the matter is that you’re really not a leader if you aren’t a servant.

One hundred percent of the time I would challenge the notion that the leaders who are considered true leaders, who show up and influence and have intentional relationships, and who can really be effective executives, these leaders are the ones who focus on serving.

Servant Leadership Creates Value

Servant leaders focus on something bigger than themselves; they focus on the mission and they focus on helping others succeed.

They focus on understanding what they bring to the table, and what they bring to the executive seat that can benefit the group.

Think about it. We have all been placed on company teams due to our ability to serve through our specific skill sets and talents.

The reason you’re on that team is most likely because you have that skill set, and you are expected to serve the company and that team by using that skill.

When you apply that skill, you serve, you give, you don’t focus on being in the spotlight the whole time, and you don’t focus on taking someone else’s ideas and claiming them as yours.

You focus on standing in the shadows, you focus on teaching other people how to lead effectively, and you give them the credit because you don’t need the credit.

It’s not about credit.

It’s about coming together and building people up and getting that end result of growing the organization because when you grow the organization, you have added value and served.

How does an organization grow?

How does a company grow?

It grows financially.

How does it grow financially?

It serves either more customers or it serves the same number of customers more times.

It’s all about service at every level. The company can’t serve customers if you don’t serve the company.

Recognize that you cannot be an effective executive if you’re not focusing on serving.

If you’re wondering, do I have it within me to go be an amazing executive leader? If you can answer these questions:

“Do I focus on serving?”

“Do I show up and serve on a regular basis? Is that part of my executive brand? Is my brand a brand of service?”

If your answer is yes, then yes, you absolutely have what it takes to be an effective executive because you are a servant leader.

Ready to get out of your own way and be a servant leader in the executive space? Join the next cohort of the Career Confidence Program and accelerate your growth and results. (