I recently had the opportunity to facilitate an organization’s annual strategic planning retreat. The leadership team had framed up their 3 year vision, as well as their strategic plan to move towards that vision. Now, they needed buy-in and alignment from their Board of Directors.
This organization had done a great deal of work around building a culture of servant leadership. It was clear from listening to the leaders present the plans to the Board that they were all in alignment with just how important this culture was to their organization’s success.
At the end of the meeting, the Board was asked to share what they were most excited about. Many of them said it was the alignment of the team and their focus of continuing to enhance their culture of servant leadership.
Our Current State
This organization is a market leader in their industry. Seeing them come together in the pursuit of a single vision got me thinking about what could be accomplished politically in our country if we had this kind of alignment and unity around building a culture of servant leadership.
Listening to the last couple presidential debates, I couldn’t detect much unity between the two candidates, which is a reflection of the current state of our two political parties. It is almost so bad that it seems easy to want to throw in the towel for the future of our country.
However, there is a quote that I love by Margaret Mead, a renowned Anthropologist, that reminds me about the power we have in the situation:
“Never doubt that a small number of dedicated people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
Change Starts with You
Do not lose your faith. You may not be able to change the political candidates, but you can make a positive impact in this world. To do so, you must first start by focusing specifically on your platform and your sphere of influence. Don’t allow the weight of the world and self-doubt deter you from making a positive impact on those around you. Start where you are with what you have.
Keep in mind, this can be hard to do on your own; gather a tribe of people that will walk this journey with you. Focus on a common purpose that has significant importance. Build a shared vision about what the preferred future could look like. Gain agreement on a set of values that will guide your behaviors on the journey.
When there is unity among a team of people, great things can be accomplished.
As you build unity around these important foundational aspects, communicate with those around you how critical they are to the achievement of this shared vision. Set clear boundaries and expectations and recognize them for their great work along the way. Invest in people to help them develop their skills.
Set stretch goals that will require you to lean on each other and Jesus to accomplish them. Celebrate together when there are wins along the way.
Focus on respecting others and lead with listening to allow people’s great ideas and thoughts to surface. And most of all, be someone that can be trusted. Insure that you are aligning your actions with your words.
I have seen numerous groups unified through the commitment of building of a culture of servant leadership. Don’t lose sight of the positive impact you can have on the people you interact with. This is how the world is changed.
Positive change starts with you! Are you ready to step up to the challenge?
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8