As we observe the news, most of us have a desire for finding a way to melt the obvious tensions in our cities. Polarization seems to only grow. In an Atlanta roundtable of notable leaders committed to the Servant Leadership model, we recently tackled this question. Four actions we can all easily do as individuals emerged:
• Have one positive uplifting story (about someone else, like a good deed from the news) to share each day, and share it often
• Do not repeat anything you have not verified as truth
• Be careful not to attribute malice to something that can be equally explained by ignorance
• Pause and consider – what’s the motive behind your comment?
Imagine the difference that would result from broad adoption of these four commitments!
On a broader scale, what is the Servant Leadership approach? Per Robert K. Greenleaf, it is:
“the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.”
The best Servant Leadership test, yet difficult to administer, is:
• Do those served grow as persons?
• Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely themselves to become servants to others?
• And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least be less deprived?
Through our lens, the four actions listed above will help everyone, including those who are searching for trust and “a voice.” Anything we can do to share respect and avoid adding fuel to the fire has to be good. Personally I do everything in my power to live by the Servant Leadership model.
If you would like to learn more about the Servant Leadership model, the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership web site is an excellent source:
– Jim Deupree