“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions.
The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.
The best test, and the most difficult to administer, is this: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”
View Robert K. Greenleaf on Wikipedia
Ten Characteristics of the Servant-Leader by Larry Spears
Listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community.
The highest type of ruler is one whose existence the people are barely aware. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, all the people say, ʻWe ourselves have achieved it!ʼ
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The Problem: Toxic Leadership
Business: You see it in business, when narcissistic executives build golden parachutes and steal from tomorrow to make today look good.
Academia: You see it in academia when professors forget the students in their march toward self-promotion and prominence in their field.
Religion: You see it in churches where the ministerʼs name appears above the saviorʼs.
Non-Profits: You see it in charities that put growth and recognition ahead of the needs of the suffering.
Government: You see it in government when politicians promote themselves over the needs of their constituents.
The difference is between leadership, and leadership by example.
The difference to me? Some leaders talk, and some leaders do.