If you thought leadership is all about power, you’re wrong.
Granted, there is some power that comes with leadership. You have the authority to make things happen. You can even force people to do what you want them to do. But if you want people to follow you because they want to, you’ve got to think of yourself as a servant.
There’s been a lot written and said about being a servant, so lets get to the heart of the matter.
There are some things you can do that will touch the lives of the people you serve. Remember this though. If you do it to manipulate others, it won’t be long before they will figure it out. Be sincere. When people see how much you care, they’ll move heaven and earth to make your dreams come true.
First, listen. Don’t listen with your judge’s hat on. Don’t screen their words for what you want to hear. Just be objective and take it in. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do your job, but let them know you are a whole person. Show an interest in the rest of their lives. Ask them about their kids’ achievements. Ask them about what stirs their hearts or their favorite vacation spot.
Second, go to their kid’s band recitals, chorus concerts, and school plays. Visit them in the hospital when they’re sick.
Bet they won’t expect that.
Third, share the credit when you win. If that great idea was someone else’s, let the world know. The idea doesn’t care, so why should you? The win comes in the use, not in the glory of thinking of it yourself.
Leaders who find their identity in a higher cause than themselves will find it easy to serve others. When there is a battle to fight, the servant leader will wage war for the good of the team, not his own personal ambitions.
At the root of a heart of service is a spirit of unconditional love.
Unconditional love means you treat everyone with respect because they deserve it as a creature of God. It means we all have the right to succeed, fail, and be human. We can all make a difference in the world if someone will believe in us enough to nourish the hope within.
Will you serve or be served? The choice you make determines the leader you’ll be.