While watching movie stars come walking out on the red carpet before the Oscars I was thinking about what these people are really like behind the facade of their make-up, fine clothes, and jewelry that they don themselves with on this night. They might be the people they appear to be, or they might not. They might have a heart for servant leadership or they might not. After all they are actors.
I see servant leaders every day; they are not acting, and there is certainly no pattern to how they “look”. An ability to act, and physical appearance might have something to do with things in Hollywood, but not in the area of servant leadership.
Appearance has nothing to do with servant leadership. Neither does other things like job title, years in the position, who you work for – for profit or non-profit, male, female, or any other physical attribute you might have.
Servant leaders know that it is their actions that illustrate who they really are. How they conduct themselves on a daily basis is what is speaking to everyone about what type of a leader they are. One of the most consistent attributes I have seen of people who are servant leaders is their commitment to continued development of their understanding and abilities of leadership.
Being intentional about consistently putting your self into situations where you can learn about servant leadership is the only way I know to lead from an attitude of service. It doesn’t often come naturally.
Ten years ago I hired a coach from the Ken Blanchard Companies to help me develop as a servant leader. Ever since then, I continue to read all that I can on the subject. I teach and write on the subject every day to continue to hone my understanding and skills. I know I would fall off the journey of servant leadership tomorrow, if I was not intentional about continuing to develop myself in this area.
One way I have seen a significant number of leaders hone their skills in servant leadership is to participate in Triune Leadership Services’ Leadership Roundtable. This year we will have 20+ leaders that are entering their 6th consecutive year of participation. These leaders are doing phenomenal things within their businesses, their families, and their communities. They are truly changing the world for the better!
I encourage you to find ways to develop your focus, attitude, and abilities of servant leadership in any of the following ways:
- Seek out mentors (Look for diversity – age / gender / nationality)
- Hire a coach
- Participate in a Leadership Roundtable Group (Sign up now for 2016 Group)
- Read books, blogs, tweets on servant leadership
- Seek out training opportunities
- Ask more questions (Be curious)
- Work on your listening skills
I certainly acknowledge that any of my so-called successes around servant leadership are due solely to the many contributions or teachings that my numerous mentors, coaches, and clients have blessed me with.
What are you doing this year to develop your attitude and abilities as a servant leader?
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7