The first of a seven-part series: Can servant leadership be clearly observed and trained? Can the concept be clarified such that its presence or absence can be assessed through an organizational survey tool? The answer to both of these questions is a firm - yes.
Putting people first is a character issue. It is a mindset; an internal belief that others matter and that I must put their well-being before my own as a leader. It takes all three "C’s" to make an effective leader; Competence, Character, Commitment.
Do you focus more on the needs of others or on your own needs?
This foundational question points us to one of our central underlying assumptions about life and leadership. Life is about me and taking care of me first; or, live is about others and taking care of the needs of others first. Of course, we must take care of both ourselves and others. But, what comes first? What is our primary motivation, to serve or to be served?
What if servant leadership is better understood as a mindset of leading; as is a unique and consistent way of thinking about our role as leaders, about those we lead and about the purpose of leadership itself?