In the UK we are at the brink of the Blair to Brown leadership handover as Prime Minister. We should be reminded that the word “minister” literally means “servant,” so “prime minister” means “chief servant.” Servant leadership is what Jesus modeled and what leadership guru’s like Jim Collins (Good to Great, Built to Last) recognise as a fundamental quality of truly consistent great leadership which produces sustained growth in the most successful companies and organisations of the world.
Consider this advice from the book of James, chapter 3 verse 16: “Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” This is so true. Where leaders are more concerned with positioning (envy of others) and position (what they get out of it for themselves), the result is confusion (the opposite of fusion, which is unity and clarity of vision/goals/objectives/mission), and it opens the door to all sorts of “evil” (other agenda’s working against the cause/mission.)
As a leader, I need to look in the mirror and consider:
- Envy: Am I more concerned with how I compare to others than I am with serving others to make them great?
- Self-seeking: Do I use my position and influence for personal gain, and do I expect of others what I don’t live up to myself?
- Confusion: Do my words/actions/lifestyle send out conflicting messages resulting in confusion of vision/mission/values/goals in the organisation and among the people I lead?
- Every evil thing: I must take responsibility for everything that is growing in my garden. I either planted it there myself, or I did not weed it out when I should have, and now it is causing trouble. Do I take responsibility, or is my tendency to try to shift the blame onto others?
This country desperately needs great servant leadership, and so does my church, my family, and wherever your own personal influence lies….”It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we don’t care who gets the credit.”