Positive leaders, at every level and age, have at least one thing in common. It doesn’t matter if they are leading in a mail room, board room, classroom, or living room. The number one priority in a positive leader’s life is to serve with confidence and love.
When I say serve, I’m not suggesting you provide lunch for your team. While I’m sure they would appreciate a good meal, I’m talking about doing something much more meaningful. The purpose of serving with confidence and love is to help the people in your world excel. Your co-workers, clients, family members, and friends want to win, they want to know their work matters, they want to get better at what they do, and they need someone like you to bring out the best in them…one day at a time.
Most leaders are aware that command and control leadership died years ago and the idea of looking to “One Great Leader” to make all the important decisions is not a formula for sustained success. The people you work with and live with don’t want or need you to tell them what to do or solve their problems for them. They want a worthy cause, clear objectives and the opportunity to use their strengths on a daily basis. They also need a servant leader who is willing and able to be their coach and hold them accountable to do their best work.
Too often leaders spend most of their time establishing priorities and putting out fires. This approach might produce short-term results, but it will never help your people, organization or family flourish.
Next week I will talk about why confidence and love need to be added when leaders choose to serve; but for now, please reflect on what these positive leaders have said about serving.
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” –Albert Schweitzer–
“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.” –Gillian Anderson–
“The servant-leader is servant first…It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first…to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served…and do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” –Robert Greenleaf–
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve.” –Martin Luther King–
Positive leaders have the opportunity and responsibility to make a contribution to improving the lives of individuals while building better organizations, families and communities.
Our homes and places of work, worship, healing, and education will be transformed when more leaders learn to get better at providing a service that helps other people excel every day.
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin