The Servant Leader
A little while ago, my pastor (who was training me to be a small group's leaders coach) had me read this book by Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges. Mr. Blanchard has many books out on leadership & is well-respected in the business community. He was led to the Lord by Bill Hybels of WillowCreek Community Church & has been a force in developing spiritual leaders within the church.
The basic premise of the book is that "effective leadership starts on the inside", & that all leaders must ask themselves the question "Am I a Servant Leader or a self-serving leader?"
Some of the valuable lessons from this little book are
- Without clear direction, your leadership doesn't matter. The story is told in Alice & Wonderland when Alice came to a fork in the road & couldn't decide which way to go. She asked the Cheshire Cat, to which he asked where she was going. When she said she didn't know, his answer was, "Then it doesn't matter which way you go."
- Understanding the difference between "success" & "effectiveness". Success can involve accomplishing short-term goals at the long-rang detriment of those engaged in creating the success. Effectiveness accomplishes the long-range growth & development of those involved in producing the desired end as well as the result itself.
- servant leadership starts with a vision & ends with a servant that helps people live according to that vision.
This book challenged me to find truth-tellers in my life & to be more servant minded in every aspect of my life, not just in ministry. Anyone vaguely interested in leadership or volunteering in ministry should read this book. It is a easy, quick read, but quite profound.
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