In December, I was having a conversation with my friend Nina. I was finishing a piece I had written on leadership and was sharing the “Top Ten Characteristics of Leaders” with her. Nina said something that stuck with me. In fact, I still think about her words every day. She said, “Leaders have a servant’s heart.”
As I have thought on this since our conversation, recently it hit me that these wise words were describing the life of Jesus. Jesus came to earth in human form to show us the character of God. And, in his own words…he came to serve.
In our world today where “it’s all about me,” we have to look far and wide to find a person with the heart of a servant. We have become pathologically self-absorbed and obsessed with wealth, fame and power. People are bored with themselves and, rather than stretching and growing they focus on “The Bachelor/Bachelorette”and celebrities lives. Please don’t misunderstand me here. There is nothing wrong with accumulating wealth and influence. It’s only a problem when we deify them.
In the business world, we are deficient of leadership, too. I often wonder why intelligent, well-meaning people shy away from doing things differently than “how it’s always been done.” We are born with a creative spirit, so create! Perhaps fear and worry get in the way of exercising our creative minds. Fear and worry are learned behaviors. Anything we learned, we can unlearn.
The final act of servitude Jesus performed was washing the disciples feet. For three years his disciples had been witness to countless miracles: healing the sick, controlling the weather, casting out demons, restoring eyesight to the blind and making the lame walk again. Less than a week prior they watched Jesus restore life to a man, Lazarus, who had been dead for four days! Now, he is doing a task usually assigned to a lowly servant. What confusion the disciples must have felt.
Every miracle Jesus performed was to serve and restore others. He never did anything to benefit himself. Truly, Jesus had a servant’s heart.
In our daily lives, our interactions with others present us with opportunities to make it all about us, or to benefit others. Don’t be a Kanye or a Kardashian, lead with a servant’s heart…