This is the 100th blog I have written since I started Triune Leadership Services, LLC. That is something to celebrate for me, as I have never seen myself as much of a writer. I however have found writing this weekly article to be a very rewarding part of my work, based on the feedback I receive.
I am also celebrating another very significant event in my family’s life this week as we welcomed our first grandchild into the world, Sylvia Grace Deterding. Seeing this miracle of a new life, and the amazing aspect of God’s creation and blessing, along with it being my 100th blog, I thought it appropriate to review why I started Triune Leadership Services and the origin of the name of the company.
I started the company to do everything I could to spread the understanding of servant leadership, and the impact leaders could have in their sphere of influence if they followed Jesus as their ultimate model of leadership. It is my daily purpose to Glorify God, by helping leaders to lead at a higher level to enable them to achieve their God-given potential. I help leaders to improve their lives and contribute to significant change that makes a difference. I want to move this world to focus on servant leadership by working with leaders who will then impact their families, their organizations, and their communities. Through multiplication we can have a significant positive impact on the world!
I chose the name Triune Leadership Services in reference to the Holy Trinity as I felt it captured all aspects of servant leadership.
First, God the Father is the creator of everything we enjoy on a daily basis and the giver of all of our blessings. Sylvia’s birth brought this into acute focus for me again this week! With this understanding we have to be in awe of our great God, and want to serve Him and others in all we do!
Second, Jesus the Son is the perfect model of servant leadership. Throughout his entire life on earth he clearly modeled a unique humility and an acute focus on God’s purpose for his life. In doing so he was in service to all mankind in giving up his life to save ours. We can learn everything we need to know about leadership by following his guidance and model.
Third, the Holy Spirit provides the power that each of us needs to be intentional in our efforts to be a servant leader. Servant leadership does not come naturally, in that it is not human nature to think about others first. The Holy Spirit provides the strength and guidance necessary to focus our efforts on serving others.
I am so excited and thankful for God’s gift of a precious new granddaughter. I look forward to God’s guidance to help me be intentional about providing a positive influence to her throughout her life.
I am also thankful to all of you who have regularly read this blog for the last two years. Please always let me know how I can be of better service to you!
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. Genesis 1:26
Servant leaders can’t afford to take a day off. On the surface that may sound like an extreme statement. After all, you have often heard me talk about the importance of balance, and never taking a day off doesn’t exactly sound like good balance.
However, I am talking about never taking a day off of the behaviors and character of servant leadership. A leader’s level of influence and significance depends on their commitment, consistency, and dedication to servant leadership behaviors.
I equate this to breaking an addiction. People who are in recovery from any addiction will tell you that you cannot take a day off from the abstinence of whatever they are addicted to. For instance just taking one drink for an alcoholic could quickly lead to a backslide from recovery.
The same holds true for positional (self-serving) leadership. It is so easy for a leader to fall back into thinking about themselves, first and foremost, and believing that they have all the answers due to their position. It takes a great deal of intentionality, perseverance, and courage to be a true servant leader. You can’t take a day off!
Ken Blanchard says one of the key disciplines of a servant leader is spending time in solitude. I feel solitude is fasting from people for a prescribed time to connect with God and replenish the soul. Spending daily time in solitude, focusing on Christ and his model of servant leadership for us, will help a servant leader never take a day off. It is through this daily connection and quiet time with God that any leader can stay focused on servant leadership.
Reserving a time each day for self-examination and time with the Lord is a great way to stay centered on role your role as a servant leader and keeps you from ever taking a day off!
What are your habits to stay focused on servant leadership?
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. Luke 4:42
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 time of year to remind us that we should really show an attitude of gratitude everyday throughout the year.
By consistently putting emphasis on leading with an attitude of gratitude, servant leaders:
- Build confidence in others
- Improve productivity
- Foster innovation
- Develop positive relationships
- Build trust
I know that this does not always come naturally for everyone, but I firmly believe that a leader can develop an attitude of gratitude if they are intentional about working at it.
Here are a few ideas for improving your leadership through gratitude:
- Make gratitude intentional and routine. Make it a goal each day to go out and catch people doing the “right thing”, and then let them know how much you appreciate it, and the difference their work is making for the organization and / or customers.
- Be specific and authentic. Don’t just tell someone “Great job”. Instead let them know how their specific performance or behavior has made a true difference.
- When appropriate make it a “Big Deal”. Recognize times when gratitude should be publically celebrated.
- Write hand-written notes of appreciation. Hand-written notes take more effort, and mean more to the recipient.
- Welcome and appreciate gratitude. Graciously accept gratitude coming your way as well.
- Each day ask yourself, Who is one person who needs to hear me say, “Thank you, I’m grateful for you.”
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people that have blessed me with the opportunity to work with them through Triune Leadership Services, LLC, as well as the loyal readers of this blog. I appreciate all of your hearts for servant leadership and your desire to make a positive impact within your sphere of influence and the world. You are making a huge difference in my life, inspiring me to stay sharp and provide useful information on servant leadership. Thanks!
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I grew up in Morton, IL. Washington was the neighbor community 8 miles away. We knew many people in Washington. My brother and his family lived there for many years. The pictures of devastation in Washington are hard to imagine. In many areas of town, you cannot even discern what street you are on, due to virtually everything being wiped out. A sign reading “Welcome to Washington” was found in Streator, IL, which is 55 miles away.
This event led me to think about a key aspect of servant leadership:
Servant leaders look out the windshield, and not the rearview mirror.
In any situation, particularly one like this where there is no blame to be placed, it is best to look forward and lead towards a better future. Dwelling on the past can provide prospective, but if we look only at the past we will never get to see the present or look forward to the future. If you drive a car looking in the rearview mirror you will eventually crash.
Servant leaders have the ability to expand the windshield and diminish the rearview mirror. They see the best future in even the most challenging of situations.
Servant leaders DO NOT:
- Try to hide the past
- Try to blame others
- Punish themselves for things gone bad.
Servant leaders DO:
- Take responsibility for the past
- Learn from the past
- Focus on building a better future
- Provide optimism in the face of uncertainty
- Provide hope in the midst of challenges
- Believe in people, and how they can respond in tough times
Please join me in praying for the community of Washington, and the strength, guidance, and leadership they are going to need to come through this un-fathomable natural disaster.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Growing up in central Illinois, you are either a Cardinals fan, or a Cubs fan. It is one or the other and there is no middle ground. The only thing I enjoy as much as a Cardinal’s victory is a Cub’s loss. But because of that great rivalry, I do keep tabs on what the Cubs are up to.
They just named Rick Renteria as their new manager last week. As a Cardinals fan, I am a little concerned about the hire, as Mr. Renteria sounds like a servant leader, which if that proves to be true, could mean better times ahead for the Cubs.
Things that I have heard that lead me to think this are the following:
- Rick called all of the players of his new team the first two days of his hire to start developing a relationship with them.
- He said that he wouldn’t be the one drawing the attention, it will be the players. He commented, “If the players genuinely believe that I believe in them we have a chance of putting together something special.”
- Rick said, “I might be naïve, and people think I might be nuts about me believing this club can go out and do certain things, but I feel that way, and I truly believe it, and we’re going to find out.”
- Another coach said of Rick, “He always finds a way to turn a negative into a positive”.
- A fellow coach said of Rick, “There is not a player who has come across Rick Renteria and hasn’t gotten better.” He goes on to say, “Guys want to play hard for him!”
Rick was not that great of a player, in fact he had an unremarkable playing career. But notice the pattern in the above comments. He develops relationships, believes in his team, builds them up, and cares most about the well-being and development of his team. He is an optimist. He makes others around him better. This is what servant leadership is all about!
I congratulate the Cubs in hiring what looks to be a great servant leader. Time will obviously tell, as true servant leadership comes through not in what is said, but in what is done on a day-to-day basis. All of us familiar with baseball history know Mr. Renteria has a tall task with the Cubs. This will be a true test of the impact of servant leadership. I’ll look forward to following their progress over the next few years.
I have a funny feeling that the Cards might soon have another formidable foe in the National League Central.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13