“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
As stated in my prior blog, the concept of servant leadership has been around since 1970, however, there have been several leaders that came before this model was brought to light who were ahead of their time such as: Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, just to name a few!
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela
There are numerous traits that servant leaders have such as: compassion, vision, inspiration, respect, empathy, selflessness, and trustworthiness. These key traits help make servant leaders very effective leaders. As we continue to have an increase in NGO’s, not-for-profits organizations, grass roots organizations, environmental activists, etc., it seems that these types of organizations have been trending towards the servant leadership style in the way that they view leadership and the way to treat their people, the causes they care for, and the communities around them.
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” Mother Teresa
(Photo provided by: http://www.leadingtoabettercommunity.com/?p=86)
The Latin words primus inter pares means “first among equals” and best describes a servant leader. In Robert Greenleaf’s essay,The Servant as Leader he states:“It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. 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.”
Are you a servant leader?
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” Mahatma Gandhi