Almost all of us have asked ourselves at some point, “What is the meaning of life?” Servant Leadership requires the leader to have an answer to this question, as it must be carried out with intention and purpose. A servant leader makes sacrifices is willing to suffer, sometimes greatly, for what is morally right and ethical. This type of leadership requires a faith in something bigger than the individual. Kolp and Rea (2009) state that “a person’s faith is uncovered by looking at how he or she finds purpose in life,” and further expands on this with the question, “to what do we devote our life” (p. 127). In servant leadership one’s core beliefs center on putting others before one’s own comfort. Many individuals have found this purpose in their religious beliefs.
Servant Leadership has its roots in Christianity, and so it is fitting to compare the discussion of Kolp and Rea (2009) on faith, with the amazingly popular, “The Purpose Driven Life,” Warren (2002). Comparing a scholarly work and a mainstream bestseller may seem a bit crude however; Warren (2008) also asserts the importance of servant hood and finding one’s purpose, in this case founded on Christian principles proposing that there is a God who clearly defines the meaning of life for those that desire to follow His teaching.
Leaders may very well have strong values and morals that they do not attribute to religious beliefs; however the virtue of faith requires a belief in a higher purpose which may be cultivated through various forms of soul searching for the meaning of life. I am curious as to how other belief systems are created, absent from a belief in some sort of higher power. Must one believe there is more to life than what we are able to see with our own eyes in order to become a most highly evolved leader? If one walks by faith it would seem to be so.