Have you ever met a “servant leader”? Would you know if you have? Although the phrase ‘servant leadership’ has been around since Robert K. Greenleaf’s 1970 “The Servant as Leader” essay, the topic regained popularity with the essay’s 25th anniversary edition. Fast forward to today, and you will find that one servant leadership enthusiast in particular, Digital Risk Team Lead Logan Payne, has been recognized by many of his peers as a leader:
“Logan is a great leader and team player,” said Loan Review Analyst Hubert Rivera. “Constantly and with a friendly smile, he does not mind when people call him, request his help, and ask him to sit with them and answer any question.”
As defined by Greenleaf, a servant leader is foremost a servant. This person wants to serve others fist and ensure that their needs are being met. Thus, this person aspires to lead in order to best serve others. Sound familiar? Keep reading…
“Logan takes the time to answer questions and then provides an example of why he feels a certain action is the correct answer going forward,” said Loan Review Analyst Salvina Williamson. “He always makes sure that I understand before he moves on.”
So how and why did someone like Logan pursue servant leadership? Well, it didn’t happen overnight. While serving in the Air Force, Logan gleaned from his leaders that one must first learn in order to lead. It was also during this time that he began independently studying leadership and personal development via experts John C. Maxwell and Peter Drucker and learned the Socratic teaching method. Concurrently, Logan became a father of two and began raising them in a fun and educational environment full of asking questions and discovering answers.
“My two daughters – and even now my four grandchildren – sometimes get frustrated with me,” Logan said. “They ask me questions and I respond, ‘I might not have the right answer, so tell me what you think and together we will find the correct one.’”
Logan considers himself to be a Socratic teacher, teaching by an exchange of ideas and concepts. He feels this is the best way for him to learn from the team, determine their learning style, and figure out how to best support their efforts in order to help them be successful as they see it.
A favorite excerpt of his is from one of Maxwell’s books: “Richard Thalheimer, founder Sharper Image once asserted, it is better to look uninformed than to be uninformed; for that reason we need to curb our ego and ask questions even at the risk of looking foolish.”
So how is his method working at the office and at home? Well, his two daughters hold teaching certificates for the State of Florida. His four grandchildren are still young, but quite inquisitive. And how have those on his team fared? We’ll let them speak for themselves:
“Logan has been an incredible support while merging to our new project,” said Loan Review Analyst Yelly Sanchez Soto. “His kindness and professionalism have helped our team and peers to achieve our production goals.”
“Logan goes above and beyond for everyone on our team! He takes pride in tutoring and mentoring us to be the best we can be and be the most productive for Digital Risk,” said Loan Review Analyst Seana Barnett. “Logan proves every day that ‘our people are our most valuable asset’ by showing our team respect and taking the time to ensure we understand the scope of our project in greater detail.”
Servant leaders can sometimes be hard to spot. They usually operate in the background helping others, rather than speaking from a podium. For someone like Logan, saying ‘thank you for your service’ is most certainly deserved.