Chad Heinrich: On Servant Leadership

Chad Heinrich is the President of Prosum. He’s been leading the team for more than three years. He takes his job and mission of servant leadership seriously. What is servant leadership and how does Chad apply the idea to his work in the staffing industry? Here’s what the President of Prosum has to say. 

In His Own Words: What Makes a Servant Leader? 

The idea of servant leadership, to me, encompasses three characteristics:

  • Transparency 
  • Trustworthiness 
  • A genuine caring for people 

I think a good leader is more made than born, but a good servant leader experiences strong mentorship early in their personal and professional life. I was fortunate to have amazing mentors starting at age 16. The CEO of the radio station my mom and dad worked for took me under his wing and became my informal mentor. Mike Jorgensen met with me once a month to talk about life and business. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was mentoring me to become a future business leader. 

Today, my wife is a big influence. Her leadership style is all about connections and building trust. She inspires me every day to apply these lessons to the people I work with. Joel Leege and Ken Aster are also amazing mentors that truly care about people. 

To me, one of the most important attributes of an effective leader is to listen. This is true for your interactions with employees, candidates, or a client. If you are not an effective listener, you simply can’t lead. You’ll miss key takeaways from the people that you ultimately serve and that can be detrimental to those relationships and your business. Giving those around you the opportunity to express concerns, frustrations, and life goals will show them that you care. You can say you care—but you have to live these principles every day to become a better leader. 

Why Listening is the Best Leadership Skill

I can’t stress this enough; Listening helps me understand your perspective. That in turn helps me communicate more effectively. Too often, leaders fail in this area.  

I think listening is a much better skill than talking, frankly.   

It’s funny because I hear people asking leaders how they find the time to listen to the people in their company. I think a better question is: How do you not make time to listen to your employees? When I have an opportunity to spend time with employees, I genuinely want to get to know them better. What are their goals? How are their families? What matters to them? 

One of my favorite questions is, “If I gave you a magic wand, what would you change about the job or the company?” I get some of my best, most creative ideas for how Prosum can make a difference in the lives of our employees and stakeholders from the answers to this question. 

Over the years, a lot of success I have had can be attributed to the ideas that came directly from the people I surround myself with. I encourage those that are around me to “bubble up” ideas that they think will help the business achieve better results and be more efficient.   

Chad is just one example of the kind of servant leadership you’ll find at Prosum. Find out what makes us different: Give us a call.

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