Servant leaders are passionate about building performance and personal development. This won’t just naturally happen; instead it takes a significant amount of intention. I have found there are a few keys to building a development plan that have worked for me, and my coaching clients, that if followed will add to the level of success that you enjoy in the upcoming year.
Every December I set my goals to plan for Building Performance to Another Level in all key areas of responsibility in my life.
If you read my blog, have heard me speak, or have attended any Triune Leadership Services training, you know I look to Jesus as the Ultimate Model of servant leadership. I always enjoy being presented with new reminders and examples of this. This past weekend I was blessed with such an opportunity.
I attended “Celebrate the Child”, performed by Jonathan Swenson of Paraphrase Theatre at Mount Carmel Ministries. With Advent in full swing what an awesome way to get focused on the “Reason for the Season”. I was reminded of the meaning of the names of Jesus listed in Isaiah Chapter 9. These names are perfect examples of Jesus being the ultimate model of servant leadership.
Do you feel your load getting heavy? Does everyone seem to come to you for problems to be solved and decisions to be made? This is a situation that many leaders, operating within an environment of positional authority get themselves into.
When you are seen as the only person that can make a decision you become a bottleneck for the organization’s progress as well as the development of it’s future leaders. Additionally, as your authority increases, your day-to-day knowledge about your areas of responsibility actually decreases and you should be making fewer decisions! Servant leaders recognize this and focus on building their team’s competencies and tell others “You decide”!
I love the week of Thanksgiving. I am a huge advocate that servant leaders are intentional about building a culture of encouragement and gratitude.
Thanksgiving is a special day that has been set-aside in our awesome nation of America to honor God and express our thankfulness to him for all of the blessings that he has bestowed upon us throughout the year. I appreciate this holiday to remind us that we should really show an attitude of gratitude everyday throughout the year.
Have you ever heard the following phrases? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” or “I do it that way because that’s the way it’s always been done”. I’m sure most of you have but as a servant leader they are unacceptable. Why…
Servant leaders understand that status quo is not OK.
I like to periodically talk about the importance of extreme self-care. Servant leaders are serious about taking care of themselves so that they can effectively and consistently serve others. I recently read some information that speaks to self-care. Last time I wrote about this I used lessons from my granddaughter Sylvia to illustrate a few points.
She continues to teach me in this area. She is now 11 months old. Unless she is eating, she no longer sits in one spot for more than 5 seconds. She is on the move constantly. This is a great model for us to look to follow.
In an effort to enhance the value I provide to clients, I scheduled 4 out of the last 6 weeks for continuing education and development. This is the first year I have done this. In the past, I tried to read and catch development opportunities on a catch as catch can basis.
I found this new method of scheduling time for development to provide much more meaningful growth. During this time I completed a book proposal (yes, for accountability purposes, this is my public declaration that I am writing a book on servant leadership), read 4 books, developed an improved method for facilitating Leadership Roundtable Groups, and wrote some new curriculum.
We just finished a remarkable time in which our Leadership Roundtable (LRT) Group that is in it’s 3rd and 4th year of being together participated in a 35 Days of Prayer Exercise. I could write an entire book on the impact this had on participants and the work that God did through this time. The stories are incredible!
I’ll write my book later, but I would offer a few key observations around how this relates to servant leadership.
Fall is my favorite time of the year in Minnesota. There is nothing like the cool, crisp fresh air and sunshine against the color of the leaves in the trees.
Fall is a time of harvest. A time for celebration that all the hard work has paid off with a great crop. It is also a time of preparation for the upcoming winter. Birds migrate south, bears hibernate, and people in the north bring in their boats and lawn furniture.
Last week I talked about the importance of discerning a political candidate’s purpose before deciding to vote for them. I would like to share more about what is so important about purpose in the life of a leader.
I recently ran across a definition of leadership that I absolutely love. In his book “The Power of Character in Leadership”, Dr. Miles Munroe defines leadership this way: