Leader to Server?
We hear a lot about great leaders; there are countless books and materials written about developing good leadership skills and abilities. But when it comes right down to it, what is a leader? What qualities and characteristics are essential to the ability to lead? Is it the ability to have people do whatever you want? Like Hitler? Or the ability to find out what they want and to direct those individuals to a solution to their problem?
After thinking on this subject a bit and really looking at the motives driving me to be a leader, I stumbled upon an interesting idea, one which may or may not have occurred to you. My epiphany, after a moment of reflection was this: to become a great leader, you must first become a great server. Others may have put this more eloquently in the past, but this is how my mind grasped it.
The next car in my train of thought was obviously, what does it mean to be a great server? It means communicating with individuals, listening to what they say, discovering their needs, and then doing all in your power to assist them in meeting those needs. Be the solution master! A bully is one who always commands, takes, and coerces others. Conversely, a true leader is one who really listens, gives, and helps. Individuals always take the advice of one who knows their needs and assists them in meeting those needs.
One of the best ways I have found to acquaint myself with individuals who have problems and provide solutions is volunteering. Volunteering is a word that can encompass many different activities and talents. Do you enjoy construction? Playing music? Baking? Theres an outlet for serving everywhere we turn, no matter what your talent! Every time we step out and serve, we develop a more well-rounded appreciation for others situations and build foundations for future leadership.
Needless to say, a big part of my life at present, is volunteering. I enjoy working once each week for several hours at our local Rescue Missions caf. I serve customers in the Restoration Caf, a vocational training center for students in the Missions Life Recovery Program. This experience has opened my eyes to a group of people with a new set of issues that affect millions every day. Im thankful for this opportunity, as I am now much better equipped to understand and relate to this demographic of society.
“We must be silent before we can listen.”
We must listen before we can learn.
We must learn before we can prepare.
We must prepare before we can serve.
We must serve before we can lead.
William Arthur Ward
So get out of your comfort zone, listen, learn, volunteer, and discover what it means to become a true leader!
Oh, bye the way; have you done any volunteer work lately? Tell me about it!