As servant-leaders we are continuously seeking new ways to serve the under-served and promote personal well-being and self-fulfillment within the community. We feel the need to serve by helping others discover their strengths and achieve their goals. But how does one act as a servant-first as opposed to a leader-first? Robert K. Greenleaf draws the distinctions between these two mindsets in his essay Servant as Leader, as he states: ”The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.” We can act as servants-first when we are willing to lay aside our fears, doubts, and preconceived notions, so we can truly listen and learn from one another. As the Peter R. Marsh Foundation says so beautifully: “The leader becomes a servant first. He leads not because of the desire for increased power, but because he wants to help those around him reach new heights.” The desire to serve must transcend the desire for power. As servant-leaders, we are called to act as motivator, guide, teacher, and mentor to one another during this life long journey. How we choose to respond to the call is ours to decide.
What are other ways we can act as servants-first? Please share with us how you respond to the call to serve, both in the workplace and everyday life.
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