One of the topics I'm most passionate about is servant leadership - the greatest leaders recognize that they're here to serve, not to be served. -Ken Blanchard
Some people have and some develop it, the leadership quality, that is what some say. I say everyone has it some are just more natural at it than others. Some prefer to lead from the front and others lead from the back or the side or wherever they happen to be. It has taken years to really realize that I was a leader, not that I was in denial or trying to be humble or anything like that, I just never thought of myself as a leader. It was not until I took a deep look at myself did I realize that like it or not I was looked at as a leader in my social circles. I had well-mannered kids (when they were young anyway) so young parents would ask for advice regularly, we were teenage parents who have now been married almost 31 years, we are asked how. The list goes on, I don't want to bore you, but experiences and knowledge I have gained from those experiences, as well as my desire to help others through similar times in their lives are what has made me a leader.
Not all immediately hear the calling to leadership as a profession. A calling is one of the traits of servant leadership. Do you sacrifice your comforts for the sake of helping others? In Robert Greenleaf's words "A servant-leader is servant first...It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first." I love this quote because it really explains what it means to be called to lead in this capacity. Ever since I was really young I put others' needs above my own and at times it was to my own detriment and I give people a lot of grace because I am not walking in their shoes and at times I have been hurt or taken advantage of, it doesn't help that I wear my heart on my sleeve.
According to Google, stewardship is the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property. That definition makes me think about an orchestra (that was why I chose that picture) because the conductor has so much responsibility to make each section sound amazing as a whole unit. Similar to an organization there are many parts that must come together to form a successful unit if one part suffers then the whole organization suffers. The challenge lies with having a good attitude in good times and bad, understanding what went wrong and through encouragement and mentoring making the unsuccessful part successful to move the entire organization forward. This is one of the traits I find can become stressful and overwhelming if plans are not in place to account for problems (having foresight).
Persuasion can be used for both good and evil so it is important to have others around you with the same values that can advise when things become more on the evil side. There is a fine line that we need to be careful of which is the same for leadership in general. It can become dangerous when there is one person in charge and those around them are afraid to speak up. It is important to have a team around you that supports you but also and more importantly that they are not "yes men", those are the ones that do not stand up and question the motives of the leader, they just accept for one reason or another. If your motives are pure then you should be able to persuade those who do not agree with something to at least accept because they understand the motives behind the action and the direction it is headed.
Last but by no means is this the least important trait is conceptualization. In my opinion, this is similar to foresight in the aspect of helping others dream and see a bigger picture. I am working with a client that has known what he wanted t do but was having difficulty bringing his two dreams together until a few months ago but was still having some issues getting it all out there. We spoke about a committed location where he could do both months ago but options were slim not to mention expensive. When we met this week he was so excited that he not only found the location but will begin renovations immediately. Helping him conceptualize his dream took some time because he could see the big picture, he was able to conceptualize it but it was working out the details and such that took the time. So within your organization or the group that you lead no matter how big or small it is important to allow and help those you lead to have their own dreams and help them to get there.
Leadership is not the easiest of jobs and servant leadership is not necessarily easier but it makes your life a bit more joyful. I am here to answer your questions, encourage you and give you all the help I can in order to help you become the successful leader you want to be. Be sure to listen to the accompanying podcast and subscribe so you know when we release a new episode. You can listen on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic and Breaker.
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