Serve Ant Leadership
The buzzword is servant leadership. The real implication is washing feet. In practice, most of us hear leadership, the servant part is for the birds.
Let me just start by saying: women know best where service is needed. I’ve lived a lot of my life not unwilling to serve but mostly preferring to find opportunities to serve before they are pointed out to me.
Let me translate. What that means is that I don’t like to be told what to do. I like to be in control and I have assumed being in control means seeing the work that is needed and putting others in position to do it whilst doing the part that I enjoy. Alas, I will do too, probably do a lot more than you but I wanna do the part that I like to do. Especially the part that I have seen needs to get done.
Don’t be wise and reveal the stone left unturned because that is grounds for any snake with dignity to release some venom in addition to “an Apple bite” kinda attack not your subtle infant feeding kind. Imma eat your soul for pointing out work that I don’t wanna do, or didn’t see to do first.
I now know why. It’s because I truly don’t think servant leadership is a thing. I am programmed to believe the power when service and leadership come together. In my head it’s like when vagina and penis come together. It creates something beautiful and it’s not always a baby. Sometimes it’s just intimacy. I digress.
Here is the issue though: I have always ascribed service to the vagina and leadership to the penis. And that has to change.
I just said that.
Let me just sit in it for a bit.
How do you create a long pause in writing so that the reader can just sit for exact how long it’s taken you to continue.
A servant leader is not merely one with foresight or more information. Leading the troops by being most informed and making sure his/her information is viable and accurate.
A servant leader is not a man.
A servant leader is not a visionary that articulates the vision well for the minions to get in line and do the work.
A servant leader is not me.
When I look at the greatest servant leader of all time — undisputed. I see these traits:
- Jesus prayed when his disciples were asleep. He did more work usually than his disciples.
- Jesus washes his disciples feet. He did the “lowliest” work without diminishing his status. He said, you have no part with me if I don’t Way your feet, Peter.
- Jesus spoke wisdom and brought clarity to the details of the New Testament. All the work and responsibility of a leader was seen and present in Him. To be a servant leader like Christ was not just to do the work. It’s to lead by serving. To Lead, To serve. Both. One.
- Jesus did what his mother asked even when he felt his time was not yet come. The first miracle from Jesus was turning water to wine. It’s a classic because as a man, I especially don’t like listening to women. I don’t know why. So this passage resonated with me. He didn’t wanna do it when she asked but he did.
- Jesus healed the sick often times by touching them. Before Jesus sent out the disciples to the world, he showed them how to do the work. He showed them that what he was calling them to had power and wisdom but it wasn’t random and full of assumptions. They knew what to do and felt empowered to do it because they had an example to follow. Their leader had served in the capacity they were called to serve even in the assignments that required supernatural power. They felt competent because they were not the Trail Blazers.
I can go on and on about JESUS but I find these to be true in the leaders that inspire me. Do they listen ? Will they be there? Are they doing more that what they inspire me to do? Do they act with wisdom on what they listen to? Rarely do I find it difficult to follow people when I can honestly say yes to those four questions.
The difficulty becomes being that for others. Especially the part where what I do is changed and inspired by what I heard others say that are wise and put me into work that is uncomfortable maybe even “lowly.”
I have come to realize that over the years, my growth, my stature, the way I measure both is based on how little “lowly” work I do and how much more “leading”, I am doing and that, well, has to change if I am to be like Christ.
Let’s not make this note longer. It’s already painful enough. No punchline ending just- time to: