In thinking about the election I came up with three leadership tips for President-Elect Obama, and they all focus on in him modeling servant leadership. The country is in desperate need of a servant leader as President. This is a President who thinks of the country first and himself second.
The first tip has to do with the leadership part of servant leadership. Leadership is about going somewhere. If people don’t know where they are headed, leadership doesn’t matter and becomes bogged down in politics and self interest. What President-Elect Obama needs to do is develop a compelling vision that helps us as a nation know who we are (our purpose), where we are going (our picture of the future), and what will guide our journey (our values).
Once there is clear direction, my second tip has to do with the servant part of servant leadership. Now President-Elect Obama has to move to the bottom of the hierarchy and become the cheerleader, supporter, and encourager of everyone in Washington and around the country by working on making that vision a reality. Now it is not about him, it is about the vision.
My third tip for President-Elect Obama makes servant leadership come alive. He has to lead with his ears. As Abraham Lincoln did, he needs to gather around him a team of rivals who are the best thinkers; a team who can help us solve the major problems that confront us today. We know President-Elect Obama is a great speaker, but if God wanted him to speak more than listen, he would have given him two mouths. I hope the theme of his presidency is to listen, listen, and listen some more, and then make the best decisions possible.