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Ryan Weiss on Servant Leadership

2 minutes, 34 seconds read

What stood out about Ryan was his focus on human and organizational behavior. He has a very deep understanding and appreciation for how people are motivated, make decisions, and develop trusting relationships. This is very evident in his company barbecue- stay tuned for the story.

Ryan’s view on how to engage individuals in change management is centered on the three-pronged approach of process, habits, and purpose.  According to Ryan, “the importance of purpose is that if you want to change your habit, then you need to know why you should change it. You need to have the purpose that compels you to do that. The only way you can compel people to change is by helping them understand why they should change.”

Humans are creatures of habit and it takes a strong self-awareness to identify what their habit is, understand what separates their current process from an ideal one, and take the first steps towards making changes. 

In order to provide people this purpose and to effectively communicate with them as an effective leader, it is necessary to have self-awareness and understand your audience. Ryan put this into an interesting tweak to the ‘golden rule’ (treat others like you want them to treat you).

“If I always try to treat everybody else the way I think I want to be treated, that may not line up with how they want to be treated. And so sometimes it’s self awareness, but it’s also an awareness of my team, their abilities, and their interests.”

Now to the part you have been waiting for – the company barbecue. Ryan is a big fan of using the concept of servant leadership to teach trust, build leadership skills, and create team unity. He and his team uses the company barbecue as a training environment for his clients. 

“In our learning experiences, we try to encompass the variety of learning styles that people have and engage the senses. And so the barbecue happens to be one of those ways that we’ve gotten really creative. We bought a big 24 foot barbecue trailer and we’ve got three big commercial smokers, an actual tool chest where we have the seasonings and the grilling tools and big party tents and all this type of thing.” 

Definitely the most delicious way of building team unity and trust.

Ryan Weiss is a global executive with decades of experiences spanning the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He has successfully founded 3 companies, and worked as a global executive leading hundreds of people, managing a $500 million product portfolio, and developing a passion for organizational change. He serves on multiple boards of educational, profit, and non-profit institutions.

Ryan is the President of Effective Performance Strategies which specializes in helping organizations effectively train their people on process improvement methodologies that work. Their approach blends onsite or virtual training with meaningful challenges that trainees perform to solidify learnings while immediately delivering value/profitability to organizations. 


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