Insights from Leaders

May 10, 2021

2 min read

Leading to Serve - Karen Walker Johnson

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Karen Walker Johnson, a strategic healthcare executive at Centene Corporation acknowledges the value that well-thought leadership can add to a company. In the current climate the world is living in today, it is crucial that leaders take charge and ensure that their employees are in a position where they can perform to the best of their ability. These trying times will reveal who the true leaders are. Karen recently spoke on the idea of servant leadership, a leadership philosophy in which the employees needs are emphasized.

“Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. The primary goal is to put the needs of the employees first. The benefits of servant leadership are that it allows employees to perform as highly as possible, it is advantageous for the employee and organization, and it allows employees to achieve personal growth. Although servant leadership inverts the norm, it allows organizations to grow due to employees’ growing commitment and engagement.

“In alignment with the philosophy of servant leadership, we introduced a number of new policies to serve our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. We offered additional time off for employees to care for themselves or immediate family members impacted by COVID-19. We contracted with a vendor to provide substantial discounts to families for tutoring services to augment at home online learning for their children. We added additional Employee Assistance Program sessions, which doubled the benefit of the original. And finally, where feasible, we allowed for flexible work schedules.

“Our employees and leadership alike, were happy with these changes. Servant leadership is a different way of thinking. It is a different way of looking at leadership. Most importantly, it is a different and unique way of looking at humanity in the workplace.”