Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Leading by Serving

I usually don't share things by Ken Blanchard, but this is quite good. -- DLN

by Ken Blanchard
When two disciples of Jesus requested a place of prominence in Jesus’ kingdom, Jesus instructed the disciples on the true meaning of leadership—not "lord-leadership," but servant leadership.

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask."

They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory. … "

Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as 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 slave of all.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be sewed, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Character Check
How does my ego prevent me from servant leadership at work or at home?

In Business Terms
Often we announce a destination: "Here's a vision; here's what I want to do." Then we use a delegating leadership style and don't roll up our sleeves and get in there.

That's what managing the journey is. Sure, it's coming up with the vision and the direction, but then the vision must be implemented: coaching, supporting, giving directions, praising progress, and redirecting.

Jesus did this well. I told consultants Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, who wrote In Search of Excellence, "You didn't invent management by wandering around. Jesus did." He wandered from one little town to another, and people would say, "How do you become first?" Jesus said, "By being last."

People would ask him, "How do you lead?" "By following."

How many people do you know who go to their boss's house for dinner and the boss says, 'Take off your shoes and socks and let me wash your feet"?

Managing the journey of change is servant leadership. We must get our egos out of the way and praise, redirect, reprimand-anything it takes to help people win.

—Ken Blanchard

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