So I wanted to take some time and throw out a few core, foundational beliefs that someone needs to have in order to make the leap into servant leadership.
Here are the four things you must believe to become a Servant Leader:
2. Your needs will be met, even as you focus on meeting the needs of others. Oftentimes I resist being a servant leader because I have real, legitimate, unmet needs. If I focus on meeting the needs of others, what will happen to mine? Trust me, your needs WILL be met, as you seek the meet the needs of others.
3. You have something to offer. You have a unique voice, perspective, insight, and value that must be shared for others. To be a servant leader, you need to believe that you are valuable and your contribution is necessary.
4. You will be promoted. I don't necessarily mean promoted positionally, I mean promoted in terms of street cred, trust, stature and maturity. Seeking to serve others and add value to their lives will always come around and build your own reputation as a person of value. Many times people resist servant leadership because they're afraid that their individual contribution will be overshadowed by the contribution of the people they're helping to be successful. But, as Ken Blanchard says, we must learn to seek the praise from an audience of One, the One who sees you, knows you, and is able to lift you up.
Now imagine with me the potential of not just one or two people acting and living as servant leaders, but an entire organization, or perhaps an entire generation.
Southwest Airlines is known as a unique corporate culture bent towards servant leadership. It shows, when former CEO Colleen Barrett said, "When we have employees who have a problem -- or have employees who see a passenger having a problem -- we adopt them, and we really work hard to try to make something optimistic come out of whatever the situation is". Did you notice that? When their employees or customers have problems, the culture responds by adopting their problems as their own, rather than firing, relegating or ignoring.
Which one(s) do you need to believe, in order to become someone known as a servant, someone who influences primarily through serving and seeking to meet the needs of others?