I attended my nephew’s wedding this weekend, which was a grand event, and a day that will never be forgotten by all who were involved. The good times had by all will probably be the memories that most think of, but a couple of parts, which were the most emotional of the day, resonated with me. The first were the vows during the wedding ceremony.

Vows are a true commitment to the other in how you will conduct yourself in the marriage and the commitment you are making to your new spouse. Very serious stuff!

It made me reflect on the importance of vows and intentionality in our leadership roles. I wonder if it would help a leader stay intentional about the importance of their role if they took periodic vows on their commitment to lead their team, their family, their committee, their community?

Servant leadership vows might look something like this:

  • I vow to insure that our purpose, vision, and behaviorally defined values are clearly defined and articulated to all stakeholders in the organization, and this will be our guide for all decisions and actions.
  • I vow to be intentional about letting my people know how important they are to the purpose, letting them control their journey towards the purpose, and providing positive recognition and encouragement to them along that journey.
  • I vow to challenge my people to not be satisfied with the status quo, and always be looking for ways to improve through clearly defined goals and expectations.
  • I vow to focus on building positive personal relationships, because I know that is what is really most important at the end of the day.
  • And finally, I vow to being committed to modeling the way for my people, never asking more than I would ask of myself, being vulnerable, and asking for constant feedback on how I could improve in my service to them.

The second aspect of the day that I found most impactful was a poem written and delivered by my sister to her newly married son and daughter-in-law. She very clearly illustrated her love for them and challenged them to keep God at the forefront of their marriage and their lives. 

I think that is also great advice for all who aspire to be servant leaders. Without God at the center of our lives, the servant leadership vows above will be very challenging to uphold. With God all things are possible, and you will achieve great things through your leadership!

Have a blessed week as you vow to carry out your role as a servant leader, and make a significant impact on those that you interact with.

Mark Deterding