Seek to serve.
“Leadership isn’t about age, but rather, leadership is about influence, impact, and inspiration.” O.A.
Everyone has the ability to be a leader. Leadership can be a lofty thought that brings about many preconceived ideas that often turn out to be inaccurate. If you’re anything like me, you’ve looked at strong leaders (maybe a pastor, mentor, or business leader) and thought “that individual exemplifies leadership!” Your thoughts about that individual were probably right, but without realizing it, thoughts like that can lead us to quickly disqualify ourselves.
Being a younger pastor at a megachurch, I get to work alongside some pretty amazing people. Although I’ve served in my current role for four years, I continue to see opportunities to grow and learn in my leadership. Over the next few weeks I would like to share some thoughts about leadership that I am continually learning (mostly the hard way).
For those who are young in leadership or are just beginning their leadership journey, it can be quite challenging. It is my hope that these principles would launch you down a healthy path as you continue to develop as a leader.
For those who are more seasoned in their leadership, it is my hope that these basic principles would be refreshing and encouraging!
Thought #1: Seek to Serve
Some of the most influential leaders I personally know place high priority on modeling a spirit of servanthood. These leaders embody an effortless attitude that “‘no task is too small.” When we look at the life of the most influential leader in the world, Jesus, we see a life benchmarked by radical humility and service. In Jesus, we see a leadership style that isn’t afraid to get dirty or to go out of the way to do the abnormal…all so someone’s life can change. Caesars, religious leaders, and politicians of that day would have never knelt down to wash the feet of their followers (John 13:1–17). Perhaps those individuals capped themselves by their own pride.
Servanthood isn’t about a position or skill, it’s about an attitude.
When we as leaders commit to serving, it eliminates the need to have a strong-arm style of leadership and we are free to lead graciously and effectively. The key factor that moves leaders to serve is the deep love for their people. Servant leadership isn’t fueled by manipulation or self-promotion, but rather out of deep concern for those under their leadership. When we commit to servant leadership, selfish leadership is combated in our lives.
So, how can you lead better today? This is a good question to diagnose where we are at in our leadership: “Is the way I serve and lead attractive?” Take some time to do a little introspective thinking. Let’s be leaders who take the time to invest in those we lead. Learn their stories, their gifts, their passions, and their fears. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb to serve them. Servanthood isn’t about positioning yourself, it’s about putting action to the value you see in the people you lead.