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Servant Leadership In Action

Today lets talk a little bit about servant leadership. That is really what the Protect Life team is all about. Those two words, servant and leadership are actually synonyms. They might not appear so in any thesaurus, but in fact they are the same.

True servants very often become leaders and leaders must be servants. If they aren't servants, they are managers. The difference between leaders and managers is for another discussion, but that servant-hood is a clear example of the difference.

Robert Greenleaf wrote extensively on the concept of servant leadership in the decade

of the seventies. “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions."

While I agree with his concept, I would trade out "manager" in place of "leader" in Mr. Geenleaf's essay. Later he writes, "A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible."

That paragraph sums up our plan in building the Protect Life team. We are developing leaders who serve with the intent to bring more people into the leadership roles.

And finally from Mr. Greenleaf, “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?“

We have 7th grade team members who have a better understanding of the servant leader mentality than position holders who not only don't get it, but actively block servant leadership from growing. This is sad and this is also why those most in need of the work of the servants continue to be in need.

Our team will continue the work as servant leaders. To do otherwise, even in the face of resistance or distraction would be lowering our standards to manager mentality. They are already working on their next event coming up on Friday.

Thanks for staying with us in this important work.

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