SERVICE LEADERSHIP can benefit everyone regardless of the role they play in their home, community or business. Even those working in organizations that do not embrace a culture of contribution can enjoy the personal rewards of being in service to others. Regardless of where we live or work, these are (some of) the gifts we gain when living in service to one another.
Somewhat ironically, the best way to make it not about me is to know myself really, really well. This means that we play to our strengths and serve in ways that come naturally and feed us energy. The more we understand what inspires us, scares us and our reactions to stress or change, the easier and faster we can turn our attention and energy toward others without getting caught up in our own drama and needs.
Creating equality for others and demanding it for ourselves
Servant Leaders acknowledge the privilege and power dynamic of any relationship. Service Leadership demands equity because it is a commitment to ensure that those around us – and ourselves – have what they need to live happy and productive lives. Service Leaders put equity at the heart of all their decision making and actions, knowing that regardless of what we look like, who we love or worship, we are all human and have the power — and responsibility — to be part of the solution.
Stronger and more meaningful connections grounded in authenticity
Service Leaders know that making connections (between people, ideas and/or intentions) is a powerful way to serve. They also know that connection is not necessarily ownership, full responsibility or a long-term burden. Through authentic connections and acknowledge our own vulnerabilities, Service Leaders are able to serve in a sustainable way. Service leaders share their authentic selves at home, work and in the community and in doing so create spaces that allow others to do the same.
Permission to embrace our curiosity
Service Leaders love to learn and don’t feel the pressure of needing to have all the answers. That permission of not being right all the time allows them to ask questions about people, processes and norms. It also allows them to not feel constrained by past thinking or traditional power structures. Curiosity is the first step to understand what we are truly being in service to and having honest conversations about the best way to serve those needs.
Creating cultures of win-win
Service leaders know they don’t have to lose in order for others to win. This old school model of scarcity has been proven to be ineffective for many reasons primarily because it shuts out anyone who didn’t cross the finish line first. Because they measure success differently, Service Leaders focus less on who gets credit and more on outcomes and impact. Service Leaders win every time that someone supports the idea or person they were championing. It doesn’t matter who carried the ball into the end-zone. What matters is that it got there.