Servant Leadership

Lesson 3: Topic 8 of 19

This section is adapted from the training “Servant Leadership – The High Calling of the Stepstool” by Angela Hough, CEO of Opportunity, Inc. and Heritage Design Studio.

We have saved the most critical practical application for last. 

Credit for coining the term “servant leadership” goes to Robert K. Greenleaf, a groundbreaking figure in the field of management research, development, and education. The concept, though, is very, very old, articulated by such figures as Laozi, Chanakya, and Christ.

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David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.― Psalm 78:72

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What does it mean to be a Servant Leader?

A servant leader is a person who seeks to equip and inspire others, truly advocating for the team and for the organization to succeed beyond herself. This takes a mental shift away from a typical “my career” and “my goals” orientation. Instead, the Servant Leader works in the trenches to elevate those in specific positions to help them maximize their potential. Also, a Servant Leader sees the facility as an organic whole to be nurtured and supported, instead of his own personal career enhancer. There is simply no comparison between a typical, self-promoting leader and a Servant Leader. This is a person who epitomizes the Golden Rule. Servant Leaders move the Golden Rule into a space of personal practice.

If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you. 

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Pause and consider: Are you truly willing to be a servant leader, regardless of your position?

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