Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash
What kind of leader are you?
How about Servant Leader? Many people cite this as the leadership model demonstrated by the historical Jesus. Despite the concept being much older, and long associated with Jesus, the phrase came to prominence in leadership theory due to Robert K. Greenleaf in an essay first published in 1970; “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.”
Interestingly, Greenleaf doesn’t directly cite Jesus as his inspiration, yet the theory is as counter-cultural in the age of capitalism as Jesus was in the 1st century Middle East. Greenleaf was a faithful Quaker, who was involved in cooperative and social justice work. This is of little surprise when you read his work. Yet he always insisted that his work was for people of all faiths and all institutions, secular and religious.
Reflecting on Jesus as leader has continually inspired me in all that I do at school – WWJD?
- It’s voluntary – it is beyond your personal interests or interests of others, often for the ‘greater good’
- It’s using entrusted power to serve others – not mange or simply lead them
- It’s putting others needs before your own – often through love
- It’s in word and deed – it is teaching your team to become servant leaders themselves
- Will you, without hesitation, do the jobs you ask others to do? (Registrations, cover lessons, supervise detentions, lunch duty)
- Do you lead in word and action? (Keeping deadlines, marking work, responding to emails)
- How will you keep touch with everyone that you work with? (Their stresses, workload, pressures…)
- Who is your servant leader model? Who allowed you to grow into a creative, caring, supportive leader?
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty; never ask others to do what you wouldn’t.