Two weeks ago was the 30 Year Anniversary of my Father-in-law getting tragically killed in a bicycle accident. He was 3 months from retirement. This event had a significant impact on my life and leadership, as I learned first hand that life is fragile.
It taught me to:
Servant leadership is hard. People love working for servant leaders, which makes it that much more challenging, as the pressure to lead by serving others is there everyday. We want to be the leader that people trust and want to work for.
Personal character is a summation of the qualities that define us as an individual and as a leader. Character is the key to leadership.
In his book, On Becoming a Leader, Warren Bennis notes that research at Harvard University indicates that 85% of a leader’s performance depends on their personal character. There is no denying that a person’s character is absolutely critical in their success as a servant leader.
I had the opportunity to attend the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit last Thursday and Friday. I found it extremely valuable as I felt all the speakers delivered excellent content on leadership development.
I especially enjoyed the transformational message from Pastor Albert Tate.
As a servant leader do you care if people are happy? I wish there was a happiness meter, as I believe this would be an important metric for any team. Employee engagement surveys are often a good barometer of happiness and employee morale.
I had the great honor and joy to celebrate Dan’s (my youngest son) wedding on Saturday with the love of his life, Jenna.
How many relationships have deteriorated due to lack of effective listening? How much organizational potential has been left un-tapped? How many children have not achieved their potential due to feeling a need to be compliant to direction?
Being an effective listener is one of the most important attributes of a servant leader! The better listener you are, the more influence you will have, and the more positive impact you will make on those in your life.
How intentional are you about acknowledging people when you see them? Have you ever had a boss or someone you know, walk right by you as if you weren’t even there? When you are on the receiving end of what was probably unintentional neglect, it doesn’t feel good.
We all get busy in our lives, and are wrapped up in what we are doing. We get on a mission, are totally focused, and miss many opportunities to connect with people on the way. When we do, it sends the wrong message to people, and certainly will not enhance relationships.
What would the world look like if we all truly lived by the message of Ephesians 5:21?
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Let’s break this down. According to the dictionary, the word reverence means “a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe”. I recently heard a Pastor define submit as, “to leverage all I have for the greater good of others”.
Do you ever look at certain people and wonder how they seem to be so successful in their areas of expertise? I love to analyze people that perform at a high level and determine what sets them apart from the pack.
One common denominator always seems to be their heart for servant leadership, or saying it another way, their focus on others as opposed to themselves.
But digging further on that, how have they gotten to that point? What has led to their high performance in this area? I believe it to be coaching.
I had the honor and privilege of working with two organizations last week as they built their vision of their preferred future. It never ceases to amaze me of the power of the Team in this work.
Recently, our community of Alexandria, MN also witnessed the power of the Team when 25 people (Administration, Staff, Community, Students) came together over many months to build their vision for the future of education in their School District 206. The summation of their 50 pages of documented vision was: