We know that in order to love people (love the verb) we must serve them, meeting their legitimate needs. We’ve learned to ask the question, “How Can I Help?” as a way to figure out ways we can serve and love others. These are necessary practices essential to being a servant leader, however it is important to think about WHY we are serving. Are we serving others because we know we are supposed to in order to be considered a “servant leader”? Are we serving because we know it’s the “right” thing to do? Are we serving so that others notice us and recognize our efforts?
If we are serving others for those reasons, we are not serving or loving properly. Instead, we are serving others as a way to serve ourselves.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t choose to serve if we feel it is the right thing to do in a given situation or to build and strengthen our character muscles. The important distinction is: the core of WHY we serve should be to show agape love to others because we have made the choice to. We have chosen to serve others because we love them, not because we want to get something out of it for ourselves.
When we learn to serve in this way our rewards are so much greater than if we were to serve with self-serving motives. Because we serve out of love with no stipulations or expectations of anything in return, it no longer matters what we get out of it. We are living the life of a true servant leader which, in my opinion, is the greatest reward of all.
“We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility”
“I’ve made a mistake” is one of the hardest things to tell others; oftentimes an even more difficult thing to admit to yourself. But true humility is shown when you are able to do both – and do it in a way that is both optimistic and action-oriented.
Sincere humility strengthens relationships between friends, family, co-workers, teammates and partners. Our natural history has made us instinctively defensive – being the alpha male or female in a group ensured safety and respect. Fortunately, our world has evolved out of a time where this sort of hierarchy is necessary. Good leadership is no longer about who can defend the tribe, but who has built influence among the people around him or her. Read more »
Day 16: Humility
Admit it — you think you are pretty cool. You probably got elected to some office at your school, which means you are probably fairly popular and somewhat respected for getting things done. Your classmates thought you could help make the school a better place. You must be pretty special.
Admit it – there are some people at your school who are NOT as cool as you. You certainly wouldn’t want to be them. They have a sort of lame job, they wear very uncool clothes, or they do not know how to talk in front of others. They do not get to be in the spotlight. They must not be very special.
Admit it – without the people who are quietly working behind the scenes, you’d be pretty lost. The parent who bought you those cool clothes, the teacher who taught you to speak well in front of a group, the introverted friends who have faith in you and voted you into office. They must be truly special.
We Dare you to…
Choose three individuals in your school that make a difference on daily basis but are not recognized (secretary, janitor, student assistant in office/kitchen, etc). Write them a sincere note thanking them for the contributions they make to your school.
“Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows.” -Helen Nielsen
Day 9: Humility
Humility can be defined as “displaying an absence of pride, arrogance or pretence; behaving authentically”.
Humble people are able to keep things in perspective. They are willing to be open and vulnerable because they have their egos under control and do not operate from delusions of grandeur, believing they are indispensible. They do not take themselves too seriously and are able to laugh at themselves and the world. They are quick to give credit to others and do not seek out credit and adulation for themselves; they are secure in who and what they are. They do not have all the answers, are okay with that, and are wide open to contrary opinion. And, as a wise mystic once said, “If we could see ourselves for what we really are, we would be very humble indeed.”
We Dare you to…
Apologize to someone today. Remember that an apology is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing. It’s an acknowledgement that you’re willing to do better next time.
“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” –Norman Vincent Peale