The Three Roles Of Servant Leadership
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
The quality of leadership in any organization will determine the extent to which change is reactive versus intentional… and sustainable. In order to support this personal responsibility throughout the organization, servant leaders will have to fulfill three roles: prophet; priest; and facilitator.
A prophet is a proclaimer and realizes that no journey toward a sustainable future can begin until those who are to make the journey acknowledge just where they are beginning from. The prophet’s role is not just to confront others with the truth, it also involves helping others build a vision of what could be. Perhaps the most critical part of the prophet’s message is that individual choices help elicit the vision.
The greatest gift of the priest is his concern with reminding people of who they are. Many things in life distract individuals from who they really are. Individuals who do not know their individual value – and their value to the church – will be swept away trying to prove it. Individuals will forget that value is experienced when they are helpful. When individuals forget their value, they will try to prove their worth by looking better than someone else, and as a result, information will be hoarded and opportunities for improvement will fail to materialize. Silos will grow and territories will be drawn. Soon, the church will be hamstrung by its own fragmentation. Servant leaders are at their very best when they see value in the people around them and call on those people to remember that value.
The third role of a servant leader is to be a facilitator. The leader who facilitates makes things easier. They provide a boost when things are lagging and instill confidence when things are uncertain. In contrast to most images of leadership, which portray relentless action, facilitative leadership comes out of waiting. It is birthed in listening, both within and without. And the best facilitation is nurtured from an attitude of acceptance. Ultimately, the facilitator seeks to leave those persons he or she helps better equipped to continue on unassisted.
God bless you as you serve and lead in His name.
Most common definitions of leadership begin with statements such as that made by popular writer John Maxwell, “Look around and see if someone is following… if they are, then you are a leader.” The KNCSB ReFocusing process can further refine your skills to become the leader God has planned you to be.
Send this Column to a Friend
- Where Should An Aspiring Leader Begin? November 2011
- Leading Change - Notes On A Napkin #1 June 2011
- Three Methods Of Leading April 2011
- Why Every Leader Needs A Mentor February 2011
- Coach Training Opportunities January 2011
- Leading And Loving It December 2010
- Building God’s “A” Ministry October 2010
- Coaching And Leadership Development September 2010
- KS-NE Southern Baptists Making A Difference April 2010
- Making A Difference In Haiti March 2010
- More Columns from Leading from the Heart