Be A Servant Leader – A Gift to the World by Russel Reid

By anguillian February 11, 2018 10:07 Updated




Leaders are being called to have a servant-leadership mindset in how they lead and manage. The idea of “servant leadership” is a great one for current leaders to adopt and for future leaders to start. Let me categorically state that “servant leaders aren’t slaves to [others], or even pushovers. They just aren’t authoritarians who boss [people] around”. A servant-leader focuses primarily on the well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. When you have a servant leadership mentality, it’s not about you. You are thinking about what you can do to help others. It begins with the natural feeling that you want to serve.

Although the term “Servant -Leader” was coined by Robert Greenleaf thirty-five years ago, the Bible tells us that the greatest among us are those who serve. The greatest Servant-Leader who ever lived on earth is Jesus Christ who demonstrated to us how leaders ought to serve both in theirs words and actions. Servant-Leader may be seen as a paradox as it begs the question, how can one be a servant and lead at the same time. One must be mindful that we were all born as leaders in our area of gifting, that is why we do not like to be bossed around. Leadership is about service and not for those in authority to dominate others by abusing their power. Dr. Martin Luther King eloquently noted that, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Qualities that are sadly lacking in leadership today.

We often hear of the verse, ” To whom much is given, much is required”(Luke 12:48). This verse is saying that, “If we are blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we use these well to glorify God and benefit others.” If we hoard them, or use them to do evil and injustice to others, then God is going to judge us harshly. Dr. Myles Munroe added that we need more leaders who are about empowering others, and not leaders who are professional manipulators for their own selfish needs and wants.

Servant leadership is also very effective when applied to managing and leading employees. Servant-leadership is growing in the business world with Fortune 500 companies embracing this philosophy. For example, in 2016, Starbucks called its new CEO a “true servant leader,” explaining that he possesses characteristics the company wants to see in all its leaders. There is a misconception that servant leadership is soft and that too much power is given to employees. In fact, the opposite exists. Servant leaders are still in control of their companies. They are not dictators who push their employees around. Instead, they’re great communicators who are humble, compassionate and people-oriented, but still successfully balancing organizational growth with their personable soft skills.

Political leaders and persons in authority can also learn from servant leaders such as Marcus Garvey and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These men selflessly lived their lives serving others and they had a commitment for the betterment of humanity. Despite the ridicule, persecution and hardships, they had encountered, they were always relentless in their pursuits and were always prepared to die for their cause and for improving the plight of the small man. They fought against oppressive systems, and though they departed this earth their legacies still live on. I reject the view that a bad system will defeat a good person every time. There is a Higher Power who sees everything in plain sight. One must be wise to take the fight in the spiritual realm because you cannot defeat the enemy in his comfort zone. Scriptures tell us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper.

So what are the qualities of a Servant-Leader? It is noticeable that servant leaders are humble people who don’t think that they are better off than others, and they treat everyone with respect. He or she understands that it is not about the leader, but it is about serving others. Other qualities of a servant leader include:
Values diverse opinions.
Cultivates a culture of trust.
Develops other leaders by giving up power and mentoring others to lead.
Cares about people’s lives, not just only their jobs.

Takes the responsibility when things go wrong, but shares the credit when there is success.

Servant leadership offers great hope for the future in creating better, more caring, institutions. Servant leadership may not appeal to those who are attracted to a more traditional idea of power, but it should be the choice of those interested in making a difference in someone’s life and for the greater good of all. It is an ideal that we all should strive for. People “don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” In other words, being knowledgeable does not make you a true leader, being caring does.

By anguillian February 11, 2018 10:07 Updated


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