“Servant Leader” is More than a Catchy Phrase

I’ve noticed something lately that prompts today’s word-of-the-week…


I notice two distinct groups of leaders with a large gap between them.

In one group I find people who acknowledge others mostly when they need something from them. They talk about servant leadership, but careful observation reveals that they’re not spending much time with anyone who’s not doing something for them or feeding their agenda in some manner.

They’re insulated by an inner circle whose central function seems to be to guard their time.

Folks in the other group spend a lot of time asking, “What can I do for you?” They answer their own phones more often. They return email and phone calls.

They’re far less likely to be shielded by an assistant with an ironclad schedule and a possible opening in a few weeks.

These groups of leaders aren’t distinguished by the size or success of their organizations. Some in the second group lead large, complex teams, while some in the first group lead relatively small teams. Both groups include leaders from business, non-profit, ministry, and civic organizations.

The difference, from what I can tell, is the way these people spend or invest their time.

The first group regards time with a scarcity mentality. They hoard it as though it can only be shared with special, important people.

Folks in the second group regard time with an abundance mentality. They don’t waste it, but they’re not afraid to spend it, either. And they’re certainly not handing it out only to those who “deserve” it.

They almost lavish time on others as though it was love.

It’s not my place to tell others how to manage their time. But this is a good reminder for me, because I want to be in the second group.

I don’t want to be the guy who has time only for those who can do something for me in return.

It’s Monday. Might be a good day to remember that “servant leader” is more than a catchy phrase.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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