The idea of Servant Leader and the Stewardship of Leading is not new. What is interesting is how the concept transcends and is found in leadership success, religion and philosophy.
Recently, in re-designing a leadership development program I facilitate I had the opportunity to read some of the recent work on the topic. In doing so, it drove home the fact that too often, in the midst of thinking about the concept, we miss day to day opportunities to exercise “random acts of service.” Here are a few that came to mind. What the reading also pointed out was how the positive impact on both the one who receives the service and the one who offers the service is usually under-estimated.
1. Express appreciation to another person
2. Offer encouragement
3. Let someone know you don’t take them for granted
4. When you see someone going through a difficult situation that you have also been through, let them know you understand and offer support if they need it
5. Share your knowledge and experience; be a coach or mentor
6. Listen with true interest and caring
7. Recognize the humanity on others
8. Be willing to show your own humanity
9. Be a sounding board for a person who is trying to think through a problem
10. Point out a strength you see in another person
11. When you see someone “getting in their own way” or creating their own problem, provide candid feedback and offer support
12. Wherever possible, look for the opportunity to give rather than receive
No doubt you do many if not all of these. Terrific. What you might not fully appreciate is just how important it is to the person you are serving. When you serve others another amazing thing happen; the person who receives the service begins to pass it on and pay it forward.
Service is a gift that enriches relationships, teams, companies, communities and ultimately the world.