John Maxwell called it Level 4 in his new book, The Five Levels of Leadership. John Wooden called it a requirement for a perfect day. Jesus Christ called it his mission on earth. All three statements were presented to me in the last twenty-four hours. This remarkable confluence on leadership is simply that real leadership is focused on serving others without any thought of any thought of return.
Driving home last night John Maxwell in his latest Success Magazine CD interview explained how his real joy comes from bringing out the best in others. Most remarkably, for over the past fifteen years he has kept a top 10 list of people he INTENTIONALLY focuses on serving and developing. He does this without ever revealing to those 10 that he is doing this. Remarkable servant leadership and his results speak for themselves.
John Wooden in his book Wooden has a list of maxims that sit open on my desk. Last night I looked down and saw the following, “You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for another without thought of something in return.” No wonder so many people, including John Maxwell, sought to learn from John Wooden. And his remarkable results are still legendary.
Today, listening to teen sex talk by Christian comedian Travis Crim, he quoted Mark 11: 44-45 in describing what real leadership looks like. Jesus in the week before his crucifixion, stated “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant…for the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” His 200o year old organization is still growing. Remarkable.
Driving home this afternoon, the confluence reminded me of what I need to incorporate into my coaching and living. In my coaching and consulting, I need to help more managers understand that developing your staff not only is the best way to leverage and accelerate your goal attainment; servant leadership is also the most rewarding personal achievement you can obtain. Work as though your performance review will be based on your subordinates evaluation of your performance is how I phrase it. The bigger the organization goal, the more true this becomes.
In my personal life, I need to find 10 people I see as having great potential and find a way to help them move to their next level of potential. And Maxwell’s insight that the work must be intentional and unknown to the recipient will be the key to any success.
Jesus reminds me that servant leadership is the key to enjoying his blessings and a key to great relationships. And I sure want to let HIM know how much I value his sacrifice for my future.
Time to start my top 10 list and begin my intentional service work. How about you?