May 12, 2021

The Best Kind of Leadership

I've served under leaders who had varying styles of leadership.  

One leader I served under was a screemer. When he got upset, he would start yelling at you.  Even in front of volunteers.  It was not a healthy style of leadership.

Another leader I served under was completely hands off.  No meetings.  No reviews.  No constructive criticism.  I was on my own.

I've also served under a leader who was the polar opposite.  She was a micromanager.  A control freak.  She was part of every decision that was made, every color that was picked out, every hiring decision that was made and every step that was taken. For high capacity leaders,  it would drive you nuts.

There are a variety of leadership styles.  Some are more effective than others.  But I believe the best kind of leadership is SERVANT LEADERSHIP.  This is the kind of leadership style that Jesus, the greatest leader ever, used to lead His team.  

Why is servant leadership the best kind of leadership?  Here are some reasons.   

Servant leadership is about serving others.  It's not about you.  Rather, it is about the people you serve.  You put their needs above your own.  Servant leadership is not about how many people are serving you. Instead, it is about how many people you are serving.

This was Jesus' leadership style.  An example is when He washed the disciples' feet.  You remember the scenario.  They got to the upper room.  There was usually a servant at the house who would greet the guests, feed the guests and wash their dirty feet.  On this occasion, there was no servant there to do this lowly chore.

The disciples looked at each other and no one would step up to do this lowly task.  No one was willing to step up and wash everyone's feet.  They probably felt it was "beneath" them.  

That's when Jesus stepped in and began washing the disciples' feet.  The disciples looked at each other in amazement.  The greatest leader ever was kneeling down and washing their feet.  That night they learned that the best kind of leadership is servant leadership. 

The best kind of leadership is grounded in helping others go beyond what they thought they were able to do.  

Servant leadership is about inspiring others to do their very best with what they have to offer.  It's about asking team members how you can help them do a better job rather than telling them how to do a better job.

Servant leadership is about putting the needs of others before your own.  It's not about gaining fame, wealth or glory.  Rather, it's about helping those you are serving meet their needs and goals.

Servant leaders help people feel valued.  When people know you and sense your servant leadership attitude, they will value their role as well.  They will trust you, because they know you have their best interests in mind.

Servant leaders communicate the "why" instead of just sharing the "how."

They explain the "why" behind policies, procedures and priorities.  They are careful not to weigh in on the "how."  They trust their team members to accomplish the how.  When people are allowed to solve the how, they will buy in.

Servant leaders are teachers, not micromanagers.

People are most engaged when they are given the opportunity to solve the problems and find the opportunities.  When a leader is a micromanager, they often skip the "why" and tell people the "what" and script out the how for them.

A servant leader is all about people. Rather than using people to build the ministry, they use the ministry to build people. They focus more on developing people than on just handing out orders.

People can tell when a leader cares about them...and when they don't.  People don't follow a title.  They follow someone they love and respect. 

If you want to be the best leader you can be, then focus on being a servant leader.  When you do this, you will be leading like Jesus, the greatest leader ever!

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