As an anonymous author asserts, “If serving is below you, then leadership is beyond you.” I’m constantly reminded of John Maxwell’s definition of leadership in which he describes leadership as influence, nothing more, nothing less.
How can you have influence on someone you are unwilling to serve? You can’t. Think about all of your bad boss, or bad leader experiences from your past. In most cases I’d guess they had a self serving interest that guided their daily affairs. They typically didn’t listen to others, or really even care for that matter. Some of those leaders learn how to ‘play the game’ and put on a facade that they are servant leaders. But the truth can only hide for so long.
You can’t serve someone you are not willing to listen to. Likewise you can only serve someone you truly care about.
I can think of several very talented individuals in my past that were in management positions that I reported up to. They were very skilled and had reputations for getting the job done, and in some cases getting the job done very well. Some of these leaders never gained access to be an influencer in my life. They never became my leader. I always respected the reporting structure and honored the position, but that does not equate to the person standing in the post as my leader.
All true service comes from a posture of humility. Considering this truth, how do you measure up as a leader?
Are you genuinely serving those around you at work, home, and in your community?
There was a time when asserting one’s authority was the dominant management trait in the workplace, home, parenting, etc. Those days are fleeting like the remaining days of the current winter season. It doesn’t mean that the majority of managers in workplaces across the world aren’t attempting to use those tactics. But what it does imply is that people expect and need a different form of leadership.
They are willing to change their course in order to experience it.
Servant leadership is rising.