I’ve lived in MN for 27 years and I continue to marvel at the variability of our weather. Three days ago it was very hot, with no wind, a perfect lake day. Yesterday, people were in their sweatshirts as it had dropped to the low 60’s with high winds. Today, back in the upper 80’s with a light breeze out of the south. Stick around it will change again tomorrow. It certainly makes for an interesting job for weather forecasters.
Servant leaders are just the opposite of the weather in MN. They are predictable and consistent.
Every so often you meet someone who leaves a lasting impression. I had that experience on Friday when I introduced Ben Utecht, our Alexandria Unity Foundation Luncheon speaker.
Ben, who is married and has three beautiful young girls, played football for the University of MN. He then played for the Indianapolis Colts, winning the Super Bowl in 2006. A couple of seasons later, he was playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and suffered his 5th concussion, which caused him to retire from football at 29 years old. He then pursued a career as a singer / songwriter of Christian Music. He has recorded three albums, one of which (“Christmas Hope”) was nominated for the Holiday Album of the Year by the Dove Awards. His recent hit and music video, “You Will Always Be My Girls” has been viewed by over 600,000 people in the last few months.
Today everyone wants things right now. With the evolution of the Internet we can go online and instantly access a myriad of information, as well as shop for virtually anything. We have grown accustomed to fast food, where we simply drive through to instantly get the food we want. We receive tweets that keep us instantly apprised of the weather and breaking news.
When it comes to servant leadership however, there are no shortcuts. You can’t take a pill to instantly become an effective servant leader. We have to put in the time and effort to understand our motivations and hone our skills.
Our Pastor started his sermon this week with this question – Who was your favorite teacher?
This was intriguing, as I did not think back to the easiest, the most lenient, or even the college professor who canceled class more often than not. Instead my mind immediately went to the teacher whom had the greatest impact on my life and helped mold me to the person I am today.
This week a leader that I highly respect asked me why I blog? What a great question.
I blog to provide information to people who are interested in servant leadership. It might be considered a marketing tool, but I can’t say that I have ever received any new business from it. I mainly do it to enhance the value I provide for those people that are interested in learning how to be a more effective servant leader.
I was honored this weekend with the opportunity to provide the message for my nephew’s wedding ceremony. Preparing, I asked myself what I would want any young couple to know as they started this important relationship as a man and wife.
I found myself focusing on key aspects and attributes of servant leadership.
What does it mean to live your leadership life to the fullest? Servant leaders are constantly raising the bar; working at being the best leader they can be for the people they are serving.
Over the years, I have encountered many leaders. I believe all of them were striving to live their leadership life to the fullest. However many of them were focused in the wrong area.
I hope you all had a fabulous Independence Day Weekend and took some time to rejuvenate. This weekend was just what the doctored ordered for me! I have been running pretty hard, and was starting to feel it. I have found it important to intentionally schedule some time in my schedule to re-group and grab some time to catch up on rest and relaxation time.
With the 4th of July landing on a Friday this year, I found this weekend as the perfect opportunity to re-charge my battery.
Too often I find myself going through life as if I am in a race. I feel as soon as I get the next project done, I can take a deep breath and relax. Unfortunately while I am racing, I pass by numerous opportunities to add value to people, because I am so focused on finishing.
I think this is an attribute of a self-serving leader as opposed to a servant leader. Servant leaders view life as a journey, something that is never completed, but to be enjoyed and cherished along the way. They take time to be present with people, supporting them, and providing for their needs.
Great idea in theory but how do I implement? Have you ever been left with this thought? Last weeks’ blog topic arose from a question by a Leadership Roundtable participant. Seeing that people had questions, I decided to ask my valued TLS subscribers in our weekly newsletter for other ideas so I could continue to provide the value they are looking for. I received the following question that I am addressing today:
“One area where I feel challenged is keeping our Purpose and Values discussions fresh within our team. I would welcome any suggestions and ideas on this subject.”