Do you have the confidence to serve?
Leaders tend to talk a lot about “servant leadership.” I actually think we talk too much about it. Servant leadership is something that we do – not something we just talk about. I guess that’s where the term “lip service” came from.
Serving others has always seemed like a humble, gracious, and submissive type of role to me. I still agree that those words help set the tone and describe the meaning of servant leadership, but I want to toss in another trait of a servant leader that isn’t talked about much.
Serving and confidence are a beautiful mix. You see, serving others does indeed put you in a submissive role. But if I have weak confidence, I may view serving as something lowly. I may feel belittled or think that it’s beneath me. I may claim that I get paid too much money to waste my valuable time on such a remedial task!
But if you’re confident, you serve your team with a different mindset. You realize that serving isn’t belittling; it’s how we relate and how we influence. Serving is how we knock down barriers and draw people to us.
Serving others can be as random as bringing a cup of coffee to a teammate on a cold winter morning. The fact that you were thinking of your co-worker is a way to serve their needs.
Go Beyond the Cup of Joe
But let’s look past the cup of coffee. As a leader, how are you serving your team’s leadership growth? How are you preparing them to win without you? Let me be clear, I am not belittling a gesture like bringing a teammate a cup of coffee, but serving your team goes much deeper than that. Confident leaders strive to make their team stronger than themselves.
I’ll never forget the words I heard come out of another titled leader’s mouth. We were discussing leadership training and career growth when this person said they were afraid of financially investing in their people because if they left the company it would be a waste of money. Wow, this person was not a confident leader! He was choosing not to serve others because he feared their growth.
So, how are you serving your team’s professional growth? Do you give your time to making sure you are serving the team in a way that creates growth?
Be confident enough to make those around you stronger. Serve your team in a way that will benefit them long after you leave, and serve your leaders in a way that if you leave, your team will be ready to lead and serve without you.