Service is a privilege- assume it,
Service is a challenge- meet it,
Service is a journey- complete it,
Service is a gift- accept it,
Service is a duty- perform it,
Service is a promise- fulfil it,
Service is friendship- enjoy it,
Service is a spirit- live it,
Service is a goal- achieve it,
Service is an action- do it,
Service is a vision- have it,
Service is a future- hold it,
Chinua Achebe described Nigeria’s problem as ‘fairly and squarely failure of leadership’. We have seen multiple examples of poor leadership styles in Nigeria, from despotic rulers to greedy executives and legislature, and that inspire us to yearn for moreauthentic leaders. Nigeria will get better only when the right people are elected to lead.
Effective servant leadership is the real deal; servant leadership is all about putting the interests of others above yourself. We have seen wonderful examples like Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, etc. These are people who wholeheartedly and joyously donated their time, talent and treasure for the service of God and humanity.
Leadership is a call to service, and service above self. Leadership begins with a discovery of your purpose, it doesn’t start the day you get a position or title, that is why the greatest tragedy on earth is not death, but to die without fulfilling your purpose. Leadership is serving the world with the uniqueness of your gifts.
A leader instructs, a good leader demonstrates, but an excellent leader inspires. A servant leader is a dealer of hope. A servant leader matches his/ her words with actions; until you are tired of something, it would be difficult for you to change it. To be an effective servant leader today, you really need to arm yourself with these top 10 qualities:
Be a good listener
The first activity of every servant leader is to listen; they are not too busy to listen to the actions or yearnings of their followers. When you speak to them, they will truly listen so that they can understand your point of view and proffer solutions when and where necessary, because leaders are problem solvers or solution economists. They believe that they don’t know it all, so they have to listen to the advice of experts when and where necessary.
Prioritise his responsibilities
An excellent servant leader does not multitask, because they have learnt that multitasking could make one inefficient, ineffective, highly unproductive and/ or lazy, instead they draw a scale of preference and goes to handle more pressing tasks. They are not jack of all trades, master of none.
Accept others with love
Servant leaders belong to all, not to selected people; they happily accept people as they are. They are not racists. The barbaric activities happening in Libya now and Xenophobic attacks in South Africa in recent time were clear manifestations of lack of servant leaders in governance.
They are driven by sincerity of purpose and integrity to lead all irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds, religious orientations or nationality. They don’t see those who are outside their ethnic or religious circles as threats. They are advocates of non-violence and good leadership.
Filled with wisdom
Servant leaders arm themselves with wisdom. They don’t just act without making investigations. They are good students of history. An ancient philosopher, Plato said that the state will never know peace until political positions are occupied by philosopher-kings (men armed with wisdom).
The Bible also recognized that people perish for lack of wisdom. When leaders are not informed, they can act with ignorance, they will become deformed and this can have a negative consequence on the society. Nigeria is in dire need of men filled with wisdom.
Servant leaders have foresight; they foresee the future; their understanding of the past and present, helps them to predict the future. Without the gift of foresight, a leader will lose this skill to ‘lead’.
A servant leader is the conscience of his time; he is a sign of contradiction to a world perpetuated with evil. He is fully aware of the current global events, world history, and industry standards. In fact, he is awake to the realities on ground at all times.
Servant leaders are good students of history. They study the leadership style of historical figures. In their leadership styles, they try to adapt to the current problem surrounding them. They rely on their strengths and invent things that will meet the needs of their followers. They inspire with their actions, because they have come to understand that words are cheap commodity.
Sets a vision
Servant leaders are visionary; they are not afraid to fail. Instead of failing, they prefer to learn from the experiences of others. If unfortunately they fail, they rise up immediately and keep working hard to become better version of themselves.
Servant leaders have a collective vision of leaving the world better than they met it. They are not there to be served, but to serve. They are gifts to the world perpetuated with gullible rulers and sycophants.
Source of inspiration
A servant leader inspires his followers to hate incompetence, embezzlement, bribery and corruption. He doesn’t use his position to coerce others, instead he convince them to demonstrate quality lifestyle.
Empowering others is the hallmark of authentic servant leadership; they understand that empowerment is not just giving people money, but equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to become resourceful personalities. Show me a servant leader, I will show you a man that has donated his time, talent and treasures for his fellow compatriots.