be a Servant-Leader
Last October I wrote a column on
servant-leadership. Since that time I have presented seminars to
personnel in several corporations and government agencies on “How to be a
My audiences have consisted mostly of entry, middle and
upper level managers or supervisors. Many of these people protested, “I am
a manager—I’m a supervisor—I don’t really consider myself to be a leader.”
But the fact is whether people supervise or manage a small unit or a large
agency, subordinates look to them for purpose and direction. They expect
their managers or supervisors to demonstrate leadership; and the most
effective leadership is servant-leadership.
How, then, does one become an
effective servant-leader? It takes more than just wanting to be one.
Desire is not enough—though it is a good start. You need three other
things: character, competency and confidence. Character is who you are.
Competency is what you can do. Confidence is the belief you can lead
others and the organization.
Leaders choose to
serve because it is the best way they can serve others and serve the
organization. But to be effective they must have the competency or
leadership skills and abilities to lead; they must possess strong
character—the moral, ethical and spiritual values necessary to lead;
finally, they must have confidence they can lead—both to lead
effectively and to inspire others to follow them.