Whether at home or abroad, leadership should always be humble and caring, yet visionary. A good leader will constantly monitor the temperature and needs of his team, while looking ahead to assess challenges, dangers and opportunities.
Each member of any team brings talents, gifts, strengths and abilities that must first of all be recognized, then appreciated. This means that the weakest person still has immense value, because they’re part of the team – their talents complete the circle, and make the team what it is.
Conversely, everyone has weaknesses, faults, flaws and shortcomings that must also be recognized, as well as dealt with. Within team dynamics, the tiniest crack can split open under pressure and wash over the team, bringing criticism, division and destruction.
In the midst of utilizing everyone’s abilities while working to diminish their weaknesses, a mature leader will also cast vision down the road. There are countless opportunities for service, growth and ministry connected to that road, but if the team is reveling in its own success or fighting itself, those possibilities will whip past and be gone forever.
Servant leadership is the answer to what every team leader faces. First of all, genuinely get to know your people. That means you have to talk with them, but most of all, listen to them. If you do, then you’ll hear their hearts, recognize their strengths, assess their weaknesses and be able to fit them into “their” role on your team. They should fit like a well-laid brick, having their own character and value, but accomplishing more because of the strength of the entire team.
The word “serve” comes from the Middle English word “servus,” which means “slave.” Are you a servant? Are you willing to become what you need to be, in order to accomplish great things with your team?
The rewards are immense, for you and for every team member. As each person finds his or her own place on the team and starts to explore the limits of their talents and giftings, you grow into your role as well. Listening, discovering, molding, blending, pruning and watering each branch and flower.
As you forget about yourself and the great things you will do, and you focus on others and how you can help them become what they were created to be, your labor will not be in vain. Under your guidance and calm leadership, people will blossom and, in turn, serve others.
It’s difficult to be a servant. Every ounce of us cries out for personal recognition and affirmation. But if you are a leader – a Servant Leader – your personal fulfillment will come when others reach and exceed their goals and dreams. The fruit is worth it.