April 8, 2021 –
If there has ever been a book written about how to be a lousy leader and how to get people not to follow you, I’ve never seen it. Today, everything is about leading and leadership.
I don’t know whether it’s me or the times, but defining “leadership” and particularly “servant leadership” is an easy task. A leader leads. While blending into the background, a servant leader serves his followers by providing the support, direction, encouragement, and discipline they need to achieve their goals. The servant leader, like a supporting actor, makes stars of others.
One of the interesting thoughts on leadership is that it‘s often situational. Sometimes we lead, and often we follow. In either case, we discharge our duties in the service of others. Before we serve, we learn to serve.
In business, there‘s a hierarchy of employment roles: worker, supervisor/manager, boss, leader, and servant-leader. Few there be at the servant-leader pinnacle, and lucky are the people serving beside the servant-leader.
Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, and poet describe a leader this way. “A leader is best when people barely know he exists when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” So, when you hear a leader respond, “Yes, you did,” you are with a servant leader.