How do you inspire and serve your fellow men and women? How do we develop the next generation of serving leaders who are committed to making our world a better place? My life’s mission is to help prepare leaders for their leadership roles. I have worked with leaders from every part of the world and from almost any field you can imagine. These experiences have provided me an incredible opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t work in leadership. In my career, I’ve partnered with and interviewed over 17,000 leaders around the world.
Our world always needs strong leaders. Our world depends on people that step up and become leaders. Leadership is not a natural act. If you remove the leaders from our society, our communities stagnate. Today the world needs leaders, serving leaders. I’d like to share with you several of the key qualities I have found in serving leaders.
Serving leaders embrace ambiguity. These leaders are very comfortable in the uncomfortable .To be a successful leader you must embrace today while looking out for new opportunities to grow. Today serving leader understand the many paradoxes of a constantly changing world. They have a strong foundation of skills and capabilities, but continue improving and adding new skills. They understand people respond to challenges, while continuing to find new ways of challenging themselves and others. They see opportunities where others see concerns.
Serving leaders build strong teams and have excellent advisors. As the world continues to become more complex, it becomes more critical to attract, develop and retain the right people in your life. Serving leaders invest time in their people because of the improvement it creates in their team. Serving leaders are maximizers of a person’s unique strengths, gifts, and life experiences. Serving leaders help others understand their unique life story and the role it might play in creating a better world. They are willing to challenge people where they are in hopes helping them grow in their lives.
Serving leaders enjoy changing the way their world works. They enjoy watching and observing until they see an opportunity to change the world. They do this by applying new ideas and strategies in creating something extraordinary. They are great at reinventing themselves in new ways to create breakthrough possibilities. They model a behavior that inspires others to take action. They choose to make a difference in the world.
Serving leaders are committed to lifetime learning. Serving leaders are constantly learning new things in new fields. They excel at discovering new ideas and then implementing them in new ways. They are always questioning and inquisitive. Some have formal education and advanced degrees. But many times, their education comes from people in their everyday lives who share new ideas that keep them growing. These serving leaders have limited formal education, but have a sixth sense about people and the world. They are typically on the leading edge of society change and are at home working with people who have different ideas about life than they do.
Serving leaders are gifted communicators. They are very good at sharing ideas that inspire others to take action or to support their causes. They are capable of building bridges through their communications skills. They are very comfortable sharing ideas with others in a way that allows for growth for both people involved. They embrace the role of both teacher and student with equal grace. They can share their ideas in a group session and are also comfortable talking one on one. They understand that great ideas can come from anyone and any time. They invest their time improving how they share their ideas so that everyone can understand them. They use stories and examples that are easily understood by different people in the group.
Finally, serving leaders cultivate their own character. They are willing to stand out from the crowd rather than become part of something they do not believe in. Serving leaders are not judgmental, but are discerning. They innately understand right and wrong and are willing to take difficult stands on challenging issues.
They feel energized by sharing their values with others. They are very capable of moving people to see their point of view, but also understand the responsibility of influencing others in this way. They do not take this responsibility lightly because they have seen the consequences of failing to move others to action.
Jesus was a serving leader. He is one of the finest leaders I’ve ever known. He has been an inspiration to generations of men and women who choose to lead by serving others. His acts and his life offer a roadmap to all those who choose to serve. As we celebrate his life and resurrection this week, take time to consider how we might be more like him in our daily activities. He set the standard high, but provides an example of the power of a single individual to change the world. If your looking to share the Easter holiday with family and friends you might also enjoy sharing my other Easter blog called Celebrating Easter, How Did You Choose the Leaders You Follow? Happy Easter