Service Leadership invites everyone regardless of their gender, race, age or economic security the opportunity to experience the joy and reward of being in service to others. Unlike the concept of servant leadership that places us on an unequal footing to those we serve, Service Leadership demands that the relationship be grounded in equity. This basic human need to help others succeed is more than just a ‘nice to have’. It is a powerful tool that enables us to think of ‘them’ with a lens of respect, interest and genuine enthusiasm. It is also a way for us to build our own self-worth, strengthen relationships and improve mental health for everyone.
That is why equity is a core foundation of Service Leadership. It is an acknowledgement of the power structures, privilege and experiences that is unique to each of us and impacts all our interactions. To be a successful participant in a modern family, community and organization we cannot be servants to anyone nor should we ask anyone to be a servant to us.
Service Leadership is about clearly understanding the needs of others and proactively looking for ways to support their success. Service Leadership asks that we do so as a partnership with the person, idea or movement with which we want to help move forward. Grounded in equity, self-awareness and genuine connection, Service Leadership creates positive change without devaluing people or ideas.
Every Four Simple Words event (virtually or IRL) starts with a land acknowledgement and a personal acknowledgement. You can read them here or watch this video is a version.