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Servant Leader

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What is a servant leader and how does it make anyone successful? This term was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf and has been supported by many leadership writers including Stephen Covey. In a servant leader,the focus is on the needs of others rather than the leader’s needs. Last week I discussed individuals being obsessed with success at any cost. Today I want to suggest that significance can be more powerful than success. Being a servant leader focuses on building people up, respecting them even when you disagree, and being humble in spite of your accomplishments. This approach requires you to do the right thing even when the other person chooses a different path. How does this apply to relationships? All relationships have conflict and require someone to initiate resolution. Typically the more mature and emotionally secure person initiates resolution, apologizes first, and successfully lets go of the pain. I will often ask my clients, “Do you want to be right or happy?” Some people believe that the only way to be happy is to be right. So what does it take to be a leader in your marriage, family, and community? Servant leaders show through example that they value people and take responsibility for their actions. They also learn to swallow their pride, maintain humility, and hold themselves accountable. My definition of success emphasizes helping, influencing, and motivating people. We all have an impact on the people we encounter. How successful are you?

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