So, you’re a leader. Great! And with your leadership certain perks and benefits: maybe a nice salary (more than others on your staff), reserved parking space, nice office, credit card for expenses, iPhone and iPad, gasoline mileage, etc., all provided because you’re a leader.
Imagine for a moment that you as a leader didn’t have this lifestyle, these benefits and this recognition. Would you still be a leader?
What if no one had to think your way was always the best way? What if you didn’t always have to have the final word? What if you had to listen more than you spoke? What if being “in charge” meant that your job was to see others succeed, to put them and their interests first? What if those you led got ALL the credit? Would you still want to lead?
What if all you received was the pleasure of seeing others grow to greater character, achieve more than even they imagined, and you were the spark, the catalyst, the mentor throughout the process? They received the applause, the “well done,” the pat on the back, and respect from others. No one knew what you did. Would you still be motivated to lead? Could you handle NOT being in the spotlight?
Servant Leadership is hard work; it’s a tough deal. There is a downside. Perhaps it should come with a Surgeon General’s Warning: May cause headache, nausea, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, anxiety, indecision, loneliness, depression, and stress.
Here’s a question every servant leader should ask, “What am I in it for?”
If we’re in it only for ourselves, we’ll do more getting than giving, expect more from others and less from ourselves, be more willing to be served than to serve. Servant leaders are into self-sacrifice, not self-promotion, like the Lord Jesus, who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of the servant . . . and became obedient to death — EVEN death on a cross!” (Philippians 2: 7, 8) He served so well it killed Him.