How to become a servant leader in your organization

Mondays, am I right?

Dee Ann Turner, who served as Chick-fil-A's Vice President, Talent and Vice President, Sustainability before retiring in 2018, told FOX Business she loved coming to work on Mondays.

"I worked for 30 years, and you know, I couldn't wait for Monday to come," Turner told FOX Business. "How unusual is that? And I knew other people that were like that, too. And so, when people can't wait to get to work, you don't have an absenteeism problem. You don't have many of the problems that come with disengagement."

So how does a manager foster that mentality? Turner has some suggestions and it all stems from being a servant leader.

1. Be willing to do everything you ask of your team

While working with Chick-fil-A, Turner said she loved to see franchisees that were engaged with their staff on a daily basis.

"They didn't necessarily clean the restrooms or the dining rooms, [but] they would ... teach a team member how to do that and to show that they were willing to do that," Turner said.

She said a team member learns excellence by seeing their servant leader be willing to roll their sleeves up and do the hard work themselves.

2. Share the wealth

When she thinks of a servant leader, Turner said she thinks of those managers in her life that shared opportunities with others.

She recalled a time very early in her career when she and her husband were flying to the first Chick-fil-A convention.

"We got on the plane, and we recognized our seats were in first class," Turner said.

She had only been with the company for a year, so the upgrade shocked them.

"Even more amazing was the owners walked past me on their way to sit in their coach seats, and when I think back to that example, I think about how important it is for leaders to share what they have."

- Dee Ann Turner, Former Chick-fil-A Vice President

Turner said whether it's tickets to a sporting event or restaurant reservations, sharing those opportunities can mean everything to an employee.

3. Be inclusive and listen

Inclusivity is certainly not a concept only preached by Turner, but she's a big supporter of it.

"When I think of servant leaders and what makes people look forward to working for those people and coming to work on Mondays, I think about people who are inclusive, who listen to the ideas of their employees," Turner said.

Turner knows firsthand that when employees feel like they are contributing, they feel engaged in their workplace.

4. Show people why their job matters

Having a job can be great, but if people don't know the goals they are working towards, it can be draining. That's why, Turner said, it's crucial people know the "meaningful why" to why their work matters.


"It's really about [explaining why] what they're doing is about something so much bigger than what they are or even what the business is, but the greater impact that they're having through the work that they do," Turner said.