Ask yourself daily:
What did I specifically do today to be “of service” to members of my group or team? Was I truly a “servant” to them?
Robert Greenleaf, writing in the classic Servant Leadership challenges leaders to be servants. To help leaders understand the concept, he had two “exam” questions that leaders should ask concerning the people on their teams:
- Do those served grow as persons?
- Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?
Tom Peters translates these questions as follows:
- Leaders exist to serve their people. Period.
- A team well served by its leader will be inclined to pursue Excellence.
Use the word “Serve.” (That’s what you do.)
Use the word “Service.” (That’s what you provide.)
Use the word “Servant.” (That’s what you are.)
When you think of servanthood, do you envision it as an activity performed by relatively low-skilled people at the bottom of the flow chart? If you do, you have a wrong impression. People are drawn toward those who serve them sacrificially, not repelled by them. It’s about attitude.
Leaders seek ways they can add value to others, and the primary way they do it is by serving them. In John 13, the Savior of the world exhibited that He was also the greatest Servant of all time. In a powerful object lesson of servanthood, Jesus stripped down to a garment around his waist, looking the part of a servant. He took a basin of water and a bowl and began washing his disciples’ feet.
- Are motivated by love to serve others (vv. 1,2)
- Possess a security that allows them to serve others (v. 3)
- Initiate servant-leadership to others (vv. 4-5)
- Receive servant-ministry from others (vv. 6, 7)
- Want nothing to hinder their relationship with God (vv. 8, 9)
- Teach servanthood by their example (vv. 12, 15)
- Live a blessed life (vv. 16, 17)
When leaders serve, they add value to the people who receive their service. It might be something as simple as feeling special; it could be a resource we give others or a word of encouragement. Whatever it is, people always receive something and feel better about themselves because of their leader.
Leaders should add value to everyone they serve. Seek to replenish and resource them to live the higher life God has called them to.
Jesus served – should you do any less?