SERVANT-LEADERSHIP

21 Mar

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, serve others.” ~ Chinese proverb

Welcome to another edition of ‘The Now Leadership’.

Let me start by apologizing for being away for a while. I was away for more than a month. It’s important for the betterment of the whole process and we’re back bigger and better.

I believe you’ve not lost sight of your goals for the year yet? Keep running with it, you’ll hit the target.

Thank you for being there all the time to read this blog. Knowing that you are always there to read and share the information on this page inspires me to want to write and write and write. You’re simply amazing!

In this edition, we’ll be looking at the concept of ‘Servant-Leadership’

Leadership is Service. It is not about being in a position where people are to serve you. Rather, it is about you serving people with any opportunity you have, irrespective of your position. Positional leadership is just a form of leadership, not leadership in itself. Don’t let’s get it mixed-up here, okay.

Until you’re ready to be a servant you cannot become a true leader. You have got to be ready to serve people if you want to realize your leadership mandate.

The greatest leader who ever lived-Jesus Christ, exposed us to this concept of Servant Leadership. In His words, he said something very striking, “I’m as one that serves among you. He that wants to be the greatest of all must be ready to be the servants of all” (Paraphrased)

The hallmark of true fulfillment and lasting success is Service. When you go out of your way to serve people, you have a sense of fulfillment that you cannot explain and this kind of feeling goes beyond hitting a jackpot or winning a lottery. It also goes beyond that time when you first set your eyes on that special person. True fulfillment in life is not found in money, prestige, position or fame. Even in marriage, until you’re out to serve your spouse and your children, you can’t find lasting fulfillment in it. The kind of feelings you get from these are short-lived compared to the lasting and inner fulfillment you get when you go out of your way to be a blessing to someone around you.

Sometimes, serving people may not even cost you a thing but it will be costly most of the times. Helping a nursing mother pick a fallen item in a grocery store doesn’t cost a thing, but it leaves a lasting impact on the other person, especially if you do it with a smile on your face.

A servant-leader is not someone who’s out to use people. He’s not someone that goes into any kind of relationships simply to get, or for WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). If you carry that kind of mindset into anything you’re doing-business, marriage, board room, you will be limited and true fulfillment will be a mirage to you.

A servant-leader will always ask himself/herself: ‘how can I be of help to this person?’, ‘how can I put a smile on this hurting face?’, how can I make this person a better person?’, ‘What can I bring to the table to move this organization forward’? etc.

It will interest you to know that nobody wants to have anything to do with a parasitic person, not even in an organizational setting. As a prospective employee, you must be able to convince your employer that you’re coming on board to contribute your quota to the development of the organization.

The reason most of us get frustrated at something that used to make us feel good before is simply because we have shifted our focus from ‘serving’ to ‘getting’. That is the main reason for frustrations in marriages,on jobs and even in a nation.

Africa is largely behind in global developments simply because our leaders are not out to serve but they are in positions for what they can get and for what will lead to their own benefits.

In leadership, there’s what is called the ‘law of the lid’. The law of the lid states that “Your leadership cannot move beyond the level of the lid on it”. Selfishness is a form of lid on your leadership capability. If you’re going to succeed as a leader, you have to embrace Selflessness and do away with Self-Centredness. That is the major challenge we have in our nation and continent.

But there’s hope for us. Why am I so sure about this? It’s simply because a new breed of leaders are emerging-selfless leaders, servant-leaders, people that are out to serve others, rather than waiting to be served…The Now Leadership. And I know you’re one of them. Let’s get rid off selfishness in our families, communities, offices and society at large and a new world of freedom, peace, prosperity and development will emerge. That is my dream and I hope it’s yours too.

Until next time, continue to succeed.

Love,

Olumide Olaoye

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