Archive for the ‘Servant Leadership’ Category
This morning I came across a great article about a boss who donated his kidney to his office assistant after he found out she needed one to live. You do not have to give a body organ to be a great leader, but it is refreshing to see a leader look out for others.
Tomorrow is Good Friday and I thought I would write three posts on how, the greatest leader ever in my opinion, Jesus Christ lead while on this Earth. Before being arrested by Roman Soldiers Jesus illustrated on more teaching about servanthood to his disciples.
John 13 3-17 The Message
3-6Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
7Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”
8Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”
Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
9″Master!” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”
10-12Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
12-17Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.
Jesus was not supposed to be on his knees cleaning his disciples’ feet, but through this he showed them that they that they are called to be a servant as he is. Jesus understood God had given him all this power, but also understood God trusted him with it.
One of the challenges of servant leadership is understanding what a servant is. A lot of times associate a servant as a few actions, but Jesus understood it wasn’t just what he did, but who he is. Servanthood is a lifestyle without pride and ego, and with confidence in one’s self, and authentic love for others.
Jesus showed his disciples servanthood by getting on his knees to wash his disciples’ feet. How can we serve others around us?
The next two posts will come on Saturday and Sunday.
Welcome to the March 2, 2007 edition of leadership growth.
David Maister presents A Case Study in Professional Ethics posted at Passion, People and Principles, saying, “Deciding to “own the problem” and accept responsibility for a screw up requires guts, courage and ethics.”
Caroline Latham presents I don’t want to ever retire. What can I do to remain sharp? posted at SharpBrains: Your Window into the Brain Fitness Revolution.
Niels Hoven presents Ask Niels: How do I build an emotional connection? posted at Niels Hoven.
Charles H. Green presents Waddya, Nuts? posted at Trust Matters, saying, “It’s hard to be trustworthy if you yourself can’t trust. And part of trusting is not thinking that everything—good or bad—is about oneself.”
David Maister presents Lions, Wolves, Beavers and Humans posted at Passion, People and Principles, saying, “Most leaders are incapable of team strategy because the key players have not agreed either to (a) collaborate or (b) invest in their mutual future.”
Jack Yoest presents Manager as Sociopath: An Interview With An Honest Boss posted at Reasoned Audacity, saying, “Your Business Blogger teaches management training. But there is no need to sit in my class, just visit An Interview with an Honest Manager.”
Vahid Chaychi presents Viral Marketing Strategies – Learn How to Spread the Words for Free! posted at Internet and Search Engine Marketing, saying, “Do you know how websites like Hotmail and Google became popular and well-known? They didn’t spend a single cent for advertising. They used the power of viral marketing.”
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It is interesting to see how leadership styles come and go in the NFL. For the past couple of years during the Patriots reign, Bill Belichick, and his paranoid, scientific style was the craze around the league. He knew the opposing team better than the team knew them self a lot of the times, and he brought in players not with big names, but that would the system.
Years before Belichick,it was Bill Parcells and his strong disciplinarian style that was popular. Parcells would use tactics like yelling to get his players to do what was needed.
Now, as the Super Bowl is about to start in a few hours, a new leadership style has emerged from the two head coaches, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith; a servant style. It is not just a style to them, but it reflects their lifestyle. It is the fact that this is a lifestyle and not just a leadership style that makes it the most challenging, yet most affective way to lead.
We see the popularity of the “servant” leader grow in popularity starting with Robert Greenleaf, but also with movements like Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus and Herb Baum’s transparent leader. Could this be the way to lead that will stick? The amazing thing about all these movements is that it does not start with a strategy or tactic on how to lead others to success, but the understanding that you must lead yourself first and then understanding it is not about yourself.
No matter who wins tonight, both coaches realize that there is more than life than championships. There is the life of serving others and changing the world.
I came across this video of Tony Dungy speaking last year at the Super Bowl Breakfast. The amazing thing about the speech is that when most people are under the spotlight they sometimes step off their foundation, but Dungy didn’t. He was open and sincere about his beliefs, something we all struggle with when are pressured to not stand out in the crowd.
As we have seen in the early 21st century with corporations like Enron, when you step off your foundation and seek for yourself you will finally fall. No matter what you believe stand firm in them. It is risk to be different, but it can also have its rewards. As a leader what will you do when you are under pressure?
Ok maybe that is not so true just by that statement, but humility is key to a great leader. Harry Joiner writes an amazing post titled,“Humility, The Core of Servant Leadership” and he points out some key points about Servant Leadership.
Servant leadership is based on humility.
Most people, if they really knew anything about humility, wouldn’t like it. That’s why so few people are humble. Humility involves dying to oneself — sacrificing oneself to a higher good or yielding to legitimate authority. Quite often it means doing what you don’t want to do. Sometimes it means going down with the ship so that others may live. And always, it means killing the egotistical, self-centered person inside all of us who wants to be comforted, petted and admired.
Humility is a Godly thing.
For authentic servant leaders, everyone has dignity. Everyone is a child of God. Everyone is the best in the world at something. Everyone deserves respect. Everyone deserves to be elevated. Everyone deserves to be perfected, and servant leaders perfect those around them by investing in everyone and setting a benchmark example. They walk the talk — and inspire others to raise their game. That’s why they’re so sought after.
But here’s the paradox of humility: If you think you have it, you don’t. Imagine someone bragging about how humble they are. That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it? You can never be too humble.
I’m not talking about the “awe-shucks” false modesty that most of us have. I’m talking about putting others first always. That is antithetical to our secular, me first, zero-sum, he who dies with the most toys wins society. True humility is counter-cultural, which is why it’s so rare. In fact, if you want to be a truly counter-cultural rebel, then rebel against your own vanity. Master yourself.