A Servant Who is a Leader?
What exactly is a servant leader? What does one look like? This is not a new subject, but what is fascinating is how current organizational research is just starting to catch up to the teachings of Jesus. The primary virtue reflected in the servant leader is humility. In a world that once taught only, "sell yourself" and "take care of yourself because no one else will", is now waking up to the fact that the best leaders are humble leaders. Here are three popular authors of our time who have lined up with the teaching of Jesus on the subject of servant leadership.
1. Patrick Lencioni - The Ideal Team Player:
“Humility stands alone. It is, indeed, the greatest of all virtues and the antithesis of pride, which is the root of all sin, according to the Bible. The most compelling example of humility in the history of mankind can be found in Christ…[His example] is as powerful as it is countercultural.”
2. Adam Grant - Give and Take:
Adam describes the humble leader as a "giver."
“Research demonstrates that givers sink to the bottom of the success ladder. Across a wide range of important occupations, givers are at a disadvantage: they make others better off but sacrifice their own success in the process.”
Grants goes on to say that givers may sacrifice their own rapid ascent up the corporate ladder, but in the process, they have a very positive effect on the organization. The surprising fact however, as his research showed, is that the top leaders in an organization are disproportionally givers. In other words, the true servant leaders over time rise to the top.
3. Jim Collins - Good to Great
“Those who worked with or wrote about the good-to-great leaders continually used words like quiet, humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild-mannered, self-effacing, understated, did not believe his own clippings; and so forth.”
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave…”
- Matthew 20:25-27
Makes you wonder what else Jesus got right.