Servant Leadership

It’s so interesting, chatting with people about what it means to really be a servant leader, and how much that’s needed everywhere. Why do we get off track? I think it gets back to the ego. You know, where you get false pride and you start thinking more of yourself than you should, and you’re kind of pushing and shoving for your own interests. How do people with false pride and that whole “It’s all about me” thing get away with it?  Well, it’s another ego group that permits it to happen. That’s the group of self doubt—the people who fear. They think less of themselves than they should. They’re trying to protect themselves; they don’t want to speak out. What happens in a lot of organizations where you have self-serving leaders is that you get a lot of people who “quit and stay.” You have a whole bunch of people who are afraid to speak up and say something when people seem to be operating all on self interest. So the other self interest is to protect yourself so you can have a job tomorrow. So how do we get people to really lead at a higher level?  You have to constantly look inside yourself. Why are we leading? What are we doing to bring out the magnificence in the people around us? How do we avoid that ego thing that’s there every day to trap us?  Remember that you’re here to serve, not to be served. On a day that honors a very important servant leader, it’s a big, big thing to remember.

7 thoughts on “Servant Leadership

  1. Ken,
    It is a good day to think about this topic. I just get a sense that people are keeping their heads down and, above all, trying to look good. The condition you point out is always there, but I feel like it is more prevalent now than in the past. My only big concern is that all of the people that have lost their jobs will get back into the workforce with a goal never to get caught in the layoff web again. This has the potential to frive a whole new round of ego/me based leadership. Some healing has to happen.

    Thanks for the reminder of what kind of leader we should be striving to be. It is a good day to remember.

    Scott Patchin

  2. I always enjoy the perspective of the leader. Very often, when i can meet a few people from the same organization, I watch to see who will rush to say…He works FOR ME. Not with me. For me. I see a lot of insecurity in that type of leadership where the organizational relationship has to be communicated verbally. I have led small sales organizations(the largest only had 42 people)..but I always made sure to introduce staff as people that worked with me…because that’s how it is…they work with you at winning deals …or against you. It was easier working with them because it drives a different approach to leadership…you have to earn the respect. You have to serve. And then they come along.

    Thanks for the post, I enjoy the topic.

  3. I really agree with what you have said here. I have a question that when you have done you self evaluation and it seems that you keep trying to lead with a servants heart and evrything just keeps falling apart. Mostly talking about in marrige. Because this is the place we are to be a servant leader first and foremost. What are you to do when you are the husband and all it seems that ever happens is you keep getting stero-typed as a man that is clueless and you keep asking how you can do things better? It is for me right now a very serious question because I know all the pat Christian answers to the problem. What happens when the pat answers don’t work? Thanks for your consideration

    • I would get a copy of the video “Fireproof” and a little book Love Dare. Have your wife watch the film with you as well as begin the 40 day Love Dare strategy together. Peter Drucker once said that nothing good happens by accident, you need a structure. This film and the companion book will give you that structure. If your wife is not willing to participate, I send you my prayers!

  4. My personal favorite of leadership topics. . . has such breadth and depth in terms of it’s impact.

    Many analysts have sought to describe the attitude of the country right now, with the teabaggers and the election of a Democrat to succeed Ted Kennedy’s seat (Wow!). To me, it’s pretty simple . . .we have suffered a dearth of servant leadership, and a high level of self-interest leadership, in both political parties, in our major financial and social institutions and in our business institutions for so long that the average person feels a sense of deep malaise.

    Servant leadership is what made the “Greatest Generation” great . . .not what they accomplished in winning the second world war, but in HOW they won . . .selflessly, focused on duty to country, unit, and humanity . . .strangers in Europe they hardly knew. I’ve found that is still alive in our young military people in very large part, and in many of the stories of common people doing uncommon acts in the past few years. But it’s largely lacking where it’s needed most . . .and if it’s going to be brought back to those institutions, I believe the collective “we” is going to have to demand it.

  5. Ken,

    It’s always nice to read your blog from day to day because you have such a gift. Your ability to send a message to others, whether it’s about leadership, servant leadership, positive thinking, or just the current events that are impacting our lives. I’m still amazed at how many people you have mentored and inspired along the way. If I can have just 1% of the impact that you have, I would be ever most grateful. Thank you for everything you do and please, by all means…continue with your best foot forward. God bless.

    Geoff Snyder

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