Africa’s greatest son, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died at ripe age of 95 few days ago. Madiba taught us many things such as real forgiveness, importance of education and servant leadership- this week gold nugget.
I first came across this leadership style in a mandate given by our Lord to His disciples “ ………Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be chiefest, shall be servant of all (Mark 10: 42-44). Jesus Christ wants us to be servant leaders.
The phrase –servant leadership – was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in the “The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. Greenleaf wrote “A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well –being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top of the pyramid, servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of the others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.” He continued “The servant leader is a servant first……it begins with natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is a leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions………..”
We can see that we urgently need servant leaders in our community and wouldn’t be wonderful if all of us aspire to be such?
“I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Do have a great week.
Tosin ‘Badeniyi, PhD