Being A True Servant Leader
Servant leadership is a term that’s very popular in management circles. It attempts to form leaders who care less about power and more about using their influence to lift up their team members. Servant leadership turns the traditional model of leadership on its head by using its forces for good, instead of allowing itself to become susceptible to corruption. While it may be atypical to find servant leaders in the workforce, one place that it is easy to find these great leaders is in the home.
Reflecting more deeply on the life of a parent, I’m reminded of the great model of servant leadership that parenthood offers us. Extreme levels of sacrifice, a significant downgrade of personal priorities, and total commitment to the cause are all attributes of great leaders; they’re also reflective of great parents. Parents forget about their wants and needs in order to care for their children. Parents are true servant leaders.
Too often we build walls between our work and our home life. These barriers are constructed to protect our family from the work creep that comes into family time via our phones and computers. It’s an honest intention, but I think there’s a precarious side effect to this compartmentalization. I recently challenged you to not divorce your faith and work life and today I want to take that challenge one step further. None of us are perfect parents, but the lessons we learn in parenting can be applied in other areas of our lives to the benefit of all.
Take, for example, if you applied the same levels of sacrifice you make for your kids in your marriage. What if you answered every one of your wife’s requests, stopped what you were doing to listen to her, and do whatever she asked? What if she did the same?
What if you took the lessons of parenthood and applied them at work? What if your set aside your own objectives and desires for the sake of the team, if you went out of your way to coach a colleague, and only offered constructive criticism?
Parenting is the ultimate vehicle for adult growth because it calls us back to our core values. Parenting demands respect, gentleness, and humanity. Parenting requires all of the great values that we wish we had in our leaders. If we were to take parenting's lessons and apply them in other areas of our lives, I bet people would start to take notice and maybe, just maybe, the benefits of being noticed might take you to a place that you really want to be.