We are sentenced to live with who we become. –Max De Pree

Let us continue and briefly explore the following two statements [see Part I for the context of what follows].

SERVANT, Greenleaf writes: ‘. . .by acting with integrity and spirit, [the servant] builds trust and lifts people and helps them grow.’ 

 LEADER, Greenleaf writes is one ‘. . .who is trusted and who shapes other peoples destinies by going out ahead to show the way.’   

At this point it might be helpful to define three terms:

INTEGRITY = the state of being whole; an adherence to moral and ethical principles

SPIRIT = the vital, animating principle in humans; a principle that animates thoughts, feelings and actions [Greenleaf called this ‘Entheos’]

TRUST = reliance on the integrity of a person; the responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence is placed

The Servant and the Leader are charged with different, yet complementary, challenges.  The Servant is a ‘trust-builder.’  For Greenleaf, being a ‘trust-builder’ is a key characteristic of the Servant [the question, of course, is ‘How does one go about building trust?’].  The Servant is also charged with ‘lifting people up.’  This ‘lifting’ occurs after people have stumbled and fallen (and as imperfect beings we are all guaranteed to have this experience many times over during our lifetime); hence, forgiveness, healing (‘to make things whole’), and reconciliation also come into play. 

‘Lifting up’ also means that the Servant helps others live into and out of their potential and helps others develop, or develop more fully, their gifts, talents and abilities so that they can serve the needs that exist in their world. 

The Servant is also charged with helping people ‘grow’ — since Greenleaf is interested in ‘seeing things whole’ one’s growth will also occur wholistically within the four following dimensions: the Physical, the Intellectual, the Emotional, and the Spiritual.  When the Servant acts, he or she does so with ‘integrity’ and ‘spirit’ [‘Entheos’ – the spirit that sustains us]. 

The Leader is ‘trusted’ by the led; they are trusted because they stay ‘true’ [the questions are: What do they stay true to? Whom do they stay true to?].  The following question might be one helpful guide: ‘What do the led ‘trust’ in the leader?’  Individuals will respond to this question differently; at least this is my experience. 

Greenleaf also says that the Leader ‘shapes other people’s destinies.’  The Leader does this in a very specific way, ‘by going out ahead and showing the way.’ 

People’s destinies are directly connected to whether they choose to follow ‘the way’ or not.  Their destinies are also connected to the ‘attitudes’ they carry with them as they choose to follow.  Greenleaf is clear that there are two types of Leaders — one is by role and the other is by situation.  Thus, anyone is capable of ‘going out ahead and showing the way.’

One risk for the Leader occurs when he or she goes out ahead to show the way.  Another risk occurs when others decide to follow the Leader; they entrust themselves to the Leader.  Trust is perhaps the major tap root that nurtures both the Servant and the Leader.  My current thinking is that this is so.

Do those served grow as persons? –Robert K. Greenleaf

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