Authentic Leadership Message

10 Feb

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I thought it might be timely this week as my staff and students settled into classes to reflect on my own leadership. When most people think of leading they tend to think of leading people “below” themselves even though servant leadership is not new. That is a very dangerous way to think because it’s hard to think of people “below” you without also thinking you’re somehow “above” the people you lead.

It’s not even your title or position that makes you a leader. Your thinking and your actions make you a leader. Even more than that, it’s your people that make you a leader because no matter what you think or do, if no one is following then you’re not leading.

The secret to being an Authentic Servant Leader is to never think for a moment that because someone is below you on an organizational chart that they are somehow below you in life.

I was reflecting with my daughter this week that people are where they are in their lives for a lot of reasons. Some had more luck than others, some made more luck than others. Some maybe were born with more advantages, some perhaps married into additional advantages. Our lot in life changes, sometimes because of what we did, sometimes because of what we didn’t do and sometimes it changes for no apparent reason.

The point is we are really pretty much all the same and the moment we start thinking we are born for greatness is the very moment we begin to lose the empathy and compassion required to actually be an Authentic Servant Leader.

I suppose it comes back to my own beliefs and faith. We are all gifts from God. When we understand that simple fact then and only then do we have the opportunity to be an authentic leader.

 

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