August 25

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Thoughts on Servant Leadership

Written By: Dan Shaker

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling over the past several years. It has truly been a pleasure to engage in good conversations with people from all walks of life.  When it comes to the topic of leadership, I find it near impossible to be an effective leader without first being a servant. Leaders who serve, compile longer-lasting respect than those who lead with fear or force. A wise teacher once said, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” 

It is pretty clear that everyone in this day and age has an opinion.  I suppose that I am no different.  Here is mine: just because you have a title or fancy-schmancy degree, it does not automatically make you a leader. From my vantage point, I have quietly observed how titles, positions, offices, talents, gifting, ability, and charisma are grossly coveted and abused in the name of “Leadership.” Those of us who desire to lead, are meant to serve first; Leadership is a byproduct of service, not one’s ambition. Those of us entrusted with titles, to lead must have a people-first attitude.

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

It is unreasonable to expect someone to trust you with the responsibility of leading them if they cannot trust the eye test of how you serve others. I guess what I am trying to get at are three quick points:

  1. Serving is tangible.
  2. Serving has metrics.
  3. Serving can be felt and observed.

I heard it once said that “if serving is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.”  We live in a world where everything a person thinks they need is a click or a scroll away at their fingertips.  Most people are like you and me.  We are busy and easily distracted.  Good leaders understand that they only have a moment or two to deliver sincerity, hope, and care.  Here are three practical ways to accomplish this:

  1. Talk less.  Listen more.  The good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth.  Please be wise and use them in that ratio.
  2. Learn and use names.  The sweetest sound any person will hear is the sound of their name.
  3. Be engaged.  Put the cell phone away and limit distractions.

What are some other quick ways you can show people you care?  

Shoot us an email with your thoughts.


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