Consider, gentle reader, that Servant-Leadership is concerned with the Difficult things for Leaders to do. For more than 30 years I have been keep a list of the Difficult things for them to do. As I continued to emerge a list I noticed that there were some common themes. Following ae the top five – these five have been identified by leaders as the most Difficult things for them to do.
- Return love for hate
- Include the excluded
- Admitting that ‘I’ am wrong – seeking forgiveness and then reconciling
- Offer forgiveness & seek healing & reconciliation (includes self-forgiveness)
- Being Vulnerable (being transparent & ‘carrying the wound gracefully’) [Vulnerable comes from the Latin root ‘Vulnus’ which means: to carry the wound with grace]
Servant-Leadership is concerned with ‘correcting errors’. An ‘Error,’ in this case, is the gap that exists between what I-We espouse and what I-We ‘live out’ – some of these ‘gaps’ are actually ‘chasms’ or even ‘grand canyons.’ Because we are imperfect beings these gaps will always occur and hence will always require our identifying them and then investing our time, energy, skills, and resources, etc. so we can diminish the gaps, if not close them.
Finally, for this seven part series, Servant-Leadership is concerned with Choice. Consider the following Choices:
- Choosing to be awake and aware (and as Greenleaf noted, to then, choose to be disturbed)
- Choosing to be motivated by… (choosing to become aware of what motivates us and why – for example, am I-You-We motivated by fear, love, care, control, anxiety, certain virtues and certain vices)
- Choosing to be unconditionally response-able & appropriately reactive (NOT choosing unconditional blame)
- Choosing to serve so that I-You-We ‘Grow’ (think: P.I.E.S.S.) & develop or develop more fully our capacities
- Choosing to be fully human – to be living paradoxes (Greenleaf notes that at our healthiest we are living paradoxes of ‘good and evil’; some find these concepts too disturbing to consider so they choose other combinations like: virtue-vice or light-darkness or light-shadow
- Choosing to act at all times with intentionality and purpose (this requires us to be awake, aware and fully present in the ‘now’)
- Choosing to be a ‘reflective-participant-observer’ in one’s own life (all organized groups of two or more folks can also choose this) – Reflection + Observation + Experience opens the pathway to learning
Well, gentle reader, there you have it. ‘My Rationale’ for choosing to embrace and integrate Greenleaf’s concept of Servant and Servant-Leadership into my being.
In closing, I leave you, gentle reader, with a question: What is your rationale for what you have embraced and integrated into your own being?