Many think to be a leader has to do with promotion or a change in level, maybe a public announcement be made to mark the arrival of a new leader in town. You know, coming down in shining armor, respect from every living being. Bow or die! maybe yours is not that serious, you just want a letter from your CEO saying you are promoted to the manager position, and that’s it you are a leader, or you desire to be elected into a position to be able to effect change. I hope I’m not breaking your heart because that is not where leadership starts from.
Yes the title is sweet, but the impact is what really counts, a life best lived for others, it’s nice to have it all to yourself, nice house, fleet of cars, etc. but I believe the ability to serve is the sweetest of them all, sweeter than having my favorite flavours of ice cream under the scorching afternoon sun.
The greatest leader that ever lived said whoever wants to be great must first be a servant.
“ I believe that leadership and service are inseparable ideas. In order to lead one must be willing to serve. The very idea of leadership implies that one gives of themselves for others. A leader must never expect others to do something they will not do first.”
Everyone loves a servant leader, you know them, they make you feel important, it’s not always about them and their achievements, with them, you feel like the most important person.
You too can be that kind of leader!!!
Here are a few ways I have put together
Called to serve:
I think so many people believe service involves laying down their life for others, maybe not that deep but close. When I am of service to others, sometimes I am been cautioned by others not be a fool, no dey do like “mumu”, father Christmas, and these statements comes even from my closest of people.
You don’t have to lay down your life before you serve, as a leader you can serve in different capacity, let’s take a look at a few ways you can be of service.
6 ways you can be of service
1. Those who can’t repay you;
I put this as number 1 because that is what service is all about to me, pouring/giving a part of yourself without expecting any direct reward.
When you serve with people that can’t pay you, then for me it feels like I’m doing it right. I particularly enjoy volunteering my time with the Internally Displaced Persons children in Nigeria. I particularly look forward to when those children will be great and be greater Leaders than myself, but before they get there, someone has to pour himself or herself into them.
To change their mentality and begin to see themselves as the leaders that they are. You remember that orphanage home you have been procrastinating to visit, then the IDP camp you promised to visit, or even that your new year goal or giving back to the less privileged, yes the time to do it is now.
Listen to the words of Joyce Roche’, Board Chair of Dillard University and Pres.& CEO of Girls, Inc describes how important this is:
“Volunteering is important not only for the institution, but also for the volunteer. So often in our day-to-day work, things become routine or are so hectic that you ask yourself, “What impact did I have today?” or “Am I making a difference?” Knowing you’ve made a difference energizes you no matter how hard you might be working. In volunteering, especially for something you are passionate about, this is a gift you receive.”
2. To serve your family:
when you serve your family, there is no such thing as too much, you give your all, it is very important to let your family know you love them, tell them and show them.
It takes a servant leader to go down and do the needful to put a smile on their faces and joy in their heart. This includes even when they are not reciprocating the favour.
3. To serve your communities:
Many leaders get easily carried away with work, yes it’s good to work, but I believe your greatest task is to serve, as a leader, do you create time to be of value to your immediate community? Your neighbors, the children in your environment, the guy selling stuffs at your estate gate, do you encourage the gate man, how do you respond to the children playing in front of your compound? If you are not around for a week, is there any significant difference in your area.
You can do better from henceforth
“The true leader serves. Serves people. Serves their best interests, and in doing so will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because true leaders are motivated by loving concern than a desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price.”
— Eugene B. Habecker
in The Other Side of Leadership
4. To serve your God;
Another place you can serve is in your place of worship, Christian, Muslim or any other place you worship, I believe things don’t just get done themselves, it takes men and women to put things in order.
There is no magic wand that automatically fixes things, maybe Elon Musk would soon come up with something but in the main time your place of worship needs you to put things in place.
5. To serve your colleagues:
It isn’t surprising to see that there are no more servant leaders in organizations, with the rush to be the best and meet up with deadlines in the everyday work place, you may wonder how can I serve? I will tell you
- Lead by doing the right things at the right time
- Teach: Spend some time to put the newbie, or the rookie through. Teach them the how, teach them what you know
- Provide: Make resources available when they need to, avoid artificial scarcity
- Respect: Respect everyone, from the Janitor to the CEO
- Inspire: Don’t forget to inspire someone to be better and do better
6. To serve the younger generation:
This is the heart of service; it is the joy of every leader to see someone that they have trained do even better than them, volunteer to mentor a teen, volunteer to coach someone, that fellow in your church, mosque or that intern in your office. Don’t just throw negative comments out about their poor attitude and incompetence; some of us just don’t know how to do better. But if you help us we will do better.
Pay for them to be trained in skills, equip them, spend time with them, and share your story with them both the success and the failures.
You may have gotten to the top out of your sheer zeal and grit, but didn’t you wish you had someone.
I love this quote from Mollie Marti
“A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.”
I know I’m smart but I have to reference some friends that help in putting this up
Author: Victor Adeyemo
Victor Adeyemo is a Leadership and high performance coach, an Event decorator and MC. He is the team leader of Leaders Digest