The SSA is the unsung hero in our society. You won't see a lot of SSAs in the media or leading popularity polls. They are the quiet ones that go about the business of serving. Their primary nature is to build platforms for success under others. They do this sacrificially by meeting the needs of the greater whole, often to the detriment of their own advancement and even health. The SSA was once described the best using the words, “without guile.” In other words, there are no ulterior motives with those who exemplify this MDNA.
Because the SSA tends to avoid the spotlight and quietly act as servant leaders, you will not find them in popular media that often. However, some examples that have become popular SSAs, today and throughout history, are Mother Teresa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize and was voted number one on Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century; Herb Kelleher, cofounder of Southwest that led 30 consecutive years of profitability and producing the highest return to shareholders of any company in the S&P 500 during his tenure; and in the fictional Batman stories, Alfred Pennyworth, a butler that tirelessly served the Wayne family for generations.
(Celebrity profiles are unofficial, unverified and for educational purposes only.)
Here is how a SSA individual impacts six dimensions of an organization's culture:
Prefers to let others provide innovation. However will create environments that support process and quickly identify internal and external needs to be met. Supports and empowers leadership.
Highly productive in maintenance and support roles. Will meet needs and support both internal teams and customer base. Can overwork to detriment of personal health. Requires boundaries.
Provides safety and balance during change initiatives. Most adaptive to transition and contingency plans of all profiles. Empathizes with the group and will gravitate towards those in need.
Must learn to accept empowerment and one’s own platform of success. Then new connections can be made by meeting needs of others. Protect boundaries to avoid exploitation by new connections.
Knowledge is important as long as it leads to meeting the needs of people. Will manage knowledge effectively if to empower leadership. May resist learning to avoid the spotlight or being a leader.
Leads and builds community as a servant leader. Works well supporting other leaders but can also nurture junior positions. Meets needs of the group without being prompted. Most patient.
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