Leadership Is Not About Being Served

Here is a question to consider … what do you think would happen if you considered yourself the “Chief Servant Officer” of your organization instead of your current title? Imagine how this perspective might impact the way you view your team and your role. Thinking of yourself as a servant first changes not only how you think and act, but also how you view your role as a leader.

Many leaders struggle with this idea of “serving” because it feels beneath them, and it challenges many of the preconceived ideas they have about leadership. I believe that the primary reason leaders struggle with serving is due to one key thing: the heart.

How you lead outwardly is a direct reflection of how you feel about others inwardly…

– Do you care about people?
– Do you desire to do good and make a positive difference?
– Do you want to see others succeed?
– Do you believe that people should be treated with dignity and respect?
– Do you want to lead a team that works together and encourages one another?


– Are you uncaring toward others?
– Are you more concerned with the bottom line than doing the right thing?
– Are you focused only on your success?
– Are you treating people in a way that is disrespectful and undignified?
– Are you creating an environment of dissension and discouragement?

I don’t know one leader who would be ok with answering ‘yes’ to the second set of questions. However, we often deceive ourselves into believing we never act this way. The reality is, if we’re not careful, we can easily become blind to our actions, resulting in behavior that is much more self-serving than serving.

In order to help overcome this tendency to be self-serving, ask yourself the following question on a regular basis, especially when dealing with people and going about your day-to-day tasks:

“What is the attitude of my heart in this situation or toward this person?”

Asking this question consistently will change the way you lead others. It will help you become more serving and less self-serving in your actions. Leadership is a heart issue, but if you never examine your heart, you will never lead from the heart.

When your heart gets right, your thinking gets right.

When your thinking gets right, your actions get right.

When your actions get right, your leadership gets right.

Relevant Quotes:

“Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” -J. Donald Walters

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Servant leaders are intentional about placing the needs of others and the success of the organization before their own.” -Jeremy Couch

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