If you are in a position of leadership, you need to know this is the key to being a great leader. If you read the title of today’s Life Palette blog and thought “I’m not a leader”, let me show you that you are a leader to some degree or another, regardless of your position in life. As John Maxwell teaches: “leadership is influence”. Think for a moment of who you have influence with, a friend, a spouse, a child, a parent, a co-worker…and the list goes on and on. Actually, to every person that you cross paths with each and every day you have influence.
Being a great leader is not a secret, it’s just that it’s counter intuitive to what we are taught about leadership and influence. The key to being a great leader is to have a servant’s heart. In yesterday’s Life Palette blog I shared the story of my friend Virgil and how he taught that a servant heart begins at home with those you know and love the most. It then transfers to being a servant leader in every area of life, making you more productive and allowing you to fulfill the God-given potential you have within you to live life as a masterpiece.
A servant leader is willing to help others in need. A servant leader sees the worth of others and expresses it to them. A servant leader is not focused on gaining a position or living from an arrogance of position or authority. They recognize that they are not above any job themselves. They are not keeping score of who has done what or why it was done. A servant leader see’s the big picture of a relationship, an organization, or a community and wants to see the potential of all fulfilled. A servant leader is not jealous of other’s gifts and potential, but willing and wanting to see them succeed, knowing that your success is adding value to others.
Jesus is the perfect example of a servant leader. He taught “the first will be last and the last will be first”. He turned the concept of winning upside down. He showed us that you really win when you help others win. He showed us that great leadership is not found in a title or position, it’s not found in simply having authority. Isn’t it true that you have known someone who has had the position and authority but you would still say that they are not a very good leader. They are not using their influence for the greater good of the company, the family, or the community.
Characteristics of Servant Leadership
- They work with the best interest of others in mind.
- They approach life with true humility. They are never parading their authority or lording it over others.
- They have a willingness to help others carry the load, even when it’s not their load to carry.
- They have a “can do” attitude
Servant leadership is the “key” to being a great leader. A servant leader is loved by everyone, they add value to everyone and they are by far the most successful people in life. Servant leaders are the people, the boss or the owner wants to promote, because they know and understand that they can trust them, that they will always do what’s best for everyone, the company, the employees, the customer, and everyone they have influence with.
How can you put the principle of servant leadership into action today? Who do you have influence with that needs you to serve them today and how will you add value to their life?
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