Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sometimes, as a leader, there is a temptation to consider oneself as the person who sets goals for the group and sees the rest of the group as pieces of the puzzle that enable the leader to achieve those goals. There is another style of leadership in which the leader sees himself or herself as a servant to fellow members. Often, things go better for the group and the leader when this philosophy prevails. This does not mean the leader expects any less effort or less accountability from the group. Instead, it means that leader is here to do whatever he or she can to help everyone accomplish the group objectives and to become more self-reliant and aware.
I recently read this description of servant leadership:
“Bosses give orders. Servant-leaders offer guidance.
Bosses intimidate. Servant-leaders motivate.
Bosses wield power. Servant-leaders empower others.
Bosses throw their weight around. Servant-leaders delegate authority.
Bosses say “You work for me.” Servant-leaders say, “We work together.”
Bosses demand sacrifice. Servant-leaders exemplify sacrifice.
A leader who is not a servant is just a boss.”
This model of leadership really works excellently and is something to which all of us can aspire. We may not always be successful, but we can make our best efforts and grow. Being a good leader requires vision, communication skills, people skills, character, competence, boldness and servant-hood.
Those of us who are entrusted to be leaders can truly benefit from examining our leadership ability, daily. Here are some questions with which I evaluate myself:
1. Do I use the power of my position to achieve my own goals?
2. Do the members follow me because they want to follow, not because I hold a title?
3. Have I earned their trust and respect?
4. Do I show my fellow members by my actions that I am here to help them….to serve?
We must always be here for each other.
I Care, Barb