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Servant Leadership: Improving Your Leadership and Follower Styles!

Updated on March 22, 2015
Heidi Vincent profile image

Ms. Vincent is an M.B.A graduate, Business Consultant and health, wellness & natural healing enthusiast, who reads a lot on those subjects.

The Leadership Scourge!

The unfortunate truth, that I have come to realize, is that there are many people in authority - Heads of State, Government Ministers and other high ranking Government officials, Board Directors, persons in public offices, private businesses, government ministries, educational institutions, churches, homes etc. - who are not leaders at all and know nothing about leadership.

I am sure that this has been the experience of many persons other than myself. In fact, as you read this lens, you may be nodding your head in agreement as you think of such a person.

Such people in authority are a detriment to the very people, families, institutions and countries that they claim to 'serve' because as Anne Bradstreet so accurately puts it, "Authority without wisdom is like a heavy ax without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish." And because these persons in authority lack wisdom, they destroy people, lives, families, institutions and just about everything they make decisions about.

What is worst, is that some people in authority are so selfish that, even in the face of their self-knowledge that they are unfit to lead, they would prefer to bring down and entire family, institution, church or nation rather than surrender their 'trophy of authority'.

So scroll down and take this journey with me, about that clich word 'Leadership', so that you can:

a. Examine what true leadership is all about and what being a good follower means.

b. Test your leadership skills, or the leadership skills of persons you know who are in authority, with some interesting polls and quizzes.

c. Find out how you can become a good leader and a good follower and positively affect your family, workplace, neighborhood and country.

Leadership and Followership: What Tango Teaches Us About These Roles in Life

LEADERSHIP is AN ART!

Art Of Leadership, The
Art Of Leadership, The

As a Christian leader, Dag Heward-Mills imparts some profound but simple teachings on not just how to become a good leader but how to sustain your good leadership while supporting those you lead. His teachings are relevant not only for church but business and family.

 

POLL: Your BEST Daily Living Quality!

Which of the following qualities do you display most in your daily life?

See results
The Art and Science of Leadership (6th Edition)
The Art and Science of Leadership (6th Edition)

“Afsaneh Nahavandi was born in Tehran Iran. She left the country prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution and has lived in US since.” She looks at leadership across multiple disciplines and coming from a non-western culture she includes a very pertinent cross-cultural perspective, since, as she so truthfully explains, leadership “occurs within the context of a culture” and “the styles and behaviours that are considered key to effectiveness differ from one culture to another”.

 
Leadership and the Art of Change: A Practical Guide to Organizational Transformation
Leadership and the Art of Change: A Practical Guide to Organizational Transformation

Lee Roy Beach tackles the daunting leadership task of change management. Changing an organizational culture, especially a bad one, is always an uphill task but it can be done effectively with long lasting positive effects if done properly.

 

Ken Jennings speaks on The Serving Leader

The Art of Servant Leadership: Designing Your Organization for the Sake of Others
The Art of Servant Leadership: Designing Your Organization for the Sake of Others

Tony Baron shows how there can truly be a win-win situation for everyone involved – the leader, the followers, the organization.

 
The Art of School Leadership
The Art of School Leadership

With all of these high power courses and seminars on leadership being taught by academics, the schools must get their act together because they can’t teach what they don’t do. So Thomas R. Hoerr offers academic administrators some powerful tools to become effective school leaders in the very halls that teach others about leadership.

 

Unselfish Living through Servant Leadership!

Service not Servitude

I was attending a Catholic Church harvest at my then parish church, St. Charles Borromeo R. C Church in Tunapuna, when I naturally gravitated towards the used book stall, since I love books and reading. I came away that day with several good books but my best 'catch of the day' was a book titled "Improving Your Serve: The art of unselfish living" by Charles Swindoll.

I have read a fair amount of books on leadership but I have to confess that, for me, Charles Swindoll's book may well be one of the best and earliest written books on SERVANT LEADERSHIP.

In his book, the author shows how Jesus, exemplified servant leadership and how we can emulate this in our own lives. He does not make 'service' a dirty word as many of us are accustomed to do, since we confuse 'service' with 'servitude'. In fact, Charles Swindoll just shows how getting your hand 'dirty' can enhance your leadership and build you loyal followers.

Improving Your Serve

Improving Your Serve
Improving Your Serve

This book is a great read for practical application. Delve in and learn to serve while leading effectively. Some of the most down to earth chapter topics include:

- Who, me a Servant? You gotta be kidding!

- The servant as a giver

- The servant as a forgiver

- The rewards of serving

 

In my humble opinion...

5 stars for Charles Swindoll's 'Improving Your Serve'!

Rate it, if you dare...

On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?

See results

C3 Conference Leadership Clip - Bishop T D Jakes

The Hard Truth: You are Not a Leader! You are a Follower.

Consequences of Not Being a Good Follower

Yes, you heard me right! Everybody wants to be the leader these days and NOBODY wants to follow!

The hard truth of the matter, however, is that not everyone can lead and sometimes because you may be close to the leader for a long while you eventually begin to feel that you can lead.

The bible points to such a disastrous “Why can’t I be the leader?” syndrome. Let me remind you. God appointed Moses as the leader for the people of Israel and Aaron and Miriam as assistants to help the leader. However, Miriam and Aaron began to criticize Moses and say, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us?” Well God heard this and was not very pleased, so he summoned Miriam, Aaron and Moses and gave Miriam and Aaron a sound telling off in front of Moses and punished Miriam by giving her a dreaded skin disease. (See Numbers 12:1 -16)

You may not be summoned directly into God’s presence and punished if you try to usurp the authority of your leader or fight for or try to hold on to a leadership position that you are obviously not capable to execute but the consequences will be disastrous all the same. Your followers will not respect and support you and you will be struggling to keep the ‘ship’ afloat if leadership is not your natural inclination.

Let’s face it. You are just NOT a leader. You are meant to be a FOLLOWER. And no matter how long you have fought to hold on to the position, how many books you read, how many motivational seminars you attend and how much like the leader you try to dress and speak. YOU ARE NOT A LEADER! If we all were leaders there would be no followers. That does not mean that you are less important.

So once you have accepted the hard truth that you are not a leader but rather a follower, learn instead how to be a good follower and support your leader! No one will have to tell you that you are meant to be a follower. You already know it deep down in your heart.

The best line ever:

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45).

The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders
The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders

Being a follower does not mean that you have to be spineless.

Ira Chaleff shows how you can be a strong contributor to your leader's and organization's mission.

 
Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders (Center for Public Leadership)
Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders (Center for Public Leadership)

Learn from Barbara Kellerman about the 5 different types of followers: Isolates, Bystanders, Participants, Activists, and Diehards. Which type are you?

If you’re the leader, which types do you have to treat with?

 

Following the Leader

Followers and Leaders are Equally Important!

In 1 Corinthians 12: 15 - 24, St. Paul used a beautiful illustration of the importance of each part of the body as he tried to explain to the people of Corinth the importance of each member in the Church:

“For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts. If the foot were to say, “Because I am not a hand, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. And if the ear were to say, “Because I am not an eye, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. If the whole body were just an eye, how could it hear? And if it were only an ear, how could it smell? As it is, however, God put every different part in the body just as he wanted it to be. There would not be a body if it were all only one part! As it is, there are many parts but one body.

So then, the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don't need you!” Nor can the head say to the feet, “Well, I don't need you!” On the contrary, we cannot do without the parts of the body that seem to be weaker; and those parts that we think aren't worth very much are the ones which we treat with greater care; while the parts of the body which don't look very nice are treated with special modesty, which the more beautiful parts do not need.”

Likewise, the job of a follower is different from that of a leader but it is as important. The leader needs followers and the followers need a leader. So embrace your role as a follower and make your enlightened contribution to the mission of your family, organization, church and country!

POLL: Your FAVOURITE Beatitude!

Which of the BEATITUDES is your FAVOURITE?

See results
Followership
Followership

“Followership teaches leaders how to replicate effective, biblical leadership qualities” in any walk of life and as both follower and leader.

Who says a leader doesn’t have to practice followership?

 
The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations
The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations

“The Art of Followership puts dynamic leader-follower interaction at the forefront of discussion. It examines the multiple roles followers play and their often complex relationship to leaders.”

 

The Art of Followership - Jean Lipman-Blumen

More books by Charles R. Swindoll - Vote for your favorites, or add any I missed.

Meet Me in the Library: Readings from Eight Writers Who Shaped My Life
Meet Me in the Library: Readings from Eight Writers Who Shaped My Life

You've heard Chuck Swindoll talk about them for years - his favorite authors and his favorite books and how they shaped his life. Now discover for yourself these great men and women of God. In this devotional compilation, Chuck introduces you to nine of his favorite books and explains how God used these authors or these topics to grow him into greater knowledge and faith.

Chuck's introductions will help you focus your heart on what the Lord may want to teach you through His timeless Word, as further explained in these classic works. Meet Chuck in his library, and learn the lessons of faith from those who influenced him. Meet Me in the Library includes: Personal introductions from Chuck for each selection - F. B. Meyer on prayer from The Secret of Guidance - Charles Haddon Spurgeon on discouragement from Lectures to My Students- Elisabeth Elliot on pursuing ones calling from Through Gates of Splendor - Eugene H. Peterson on finishing well from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction- J. Oswald Sanders on servanthood from Spiritual Leadership - A. W. Tozer on intimacy with God from The Knowledge of the Holy and on trials and testing from The Root of the Righteous - Andrew Murray on joy from Abide in Christ- Francis A. Schaeffer on Christian love from The Mark of the Christian - A special chapter by Chuck on how to become a better reader

 
The Grace Awakening: Believing in grace is one thing. Living it is another.
The Grace Awakening: Believing in grace is one thing. Living it is another.

In this best-selling classic, Charles Swindoll urges you not to miss living a grace-filled life. Freedom and joy -not lists and demands and duties - await all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Grace Awakening calls all Christians to wake up and reject living in such legalistic, performance-oriented bondage. The God of the universe has given us an amazing, revolutionary gift of grace and freedom. This freedom and grace set us apart from every other "religion" on the face of the earth.

It's clear that the challenges in the world around us are greater than ever, but the need for Christians who will live out their witness in freedom and compassion is even greater. This classic isn't simply a book worth reading but a life worth living-today.

 

How Do Followers Create Trust With Their Leaders? (Ira Chaleff)

David A Man Of Passion And Destiny
David A Man Of Passion And Destiny

David was a man after God's own heart . . . What does it mean to be someone "after God's own heart?" David, Old Testament Shepherd, king, and psalmist, offers an answer in the shape of his own life. In many ways he was a most extraordinary man intelligent, handsome, abundantly gifted as a poet, musician, warrior, and administrator. Yet in other ways he was a most ordinary man often gripped by destructive passion, rocked by family chaos and personal tragedy, and motivated by political expediency. How did David become the national hero of God's chosen people? Why is he the one character in the Bible described as "a man after God's own heart?"

Chuck Swindoll explores the many facets of David from his teenage years and dysfunctional family life to his overwhelming passion for God. David's life offers hope to all of us. It shows that God can do extraordinary things through ordinary men and women. And David offers an insightful perspective on what it means to be truly spiritual, to become like David men and women after God's own heart. David is the first of a multi-volume series exploring great lives from the Bible.

Chuck Swindoll wants to show us that these men and women became great when they placed themselves at the Lord's disposal, allowing Him to develop within them the marks of true character: humility, purity, authenticity, and integrity.

To live a life God considers "great" is within the reach of everyone who submits to him.

 
Esther: A Woman of Strength and Dignity (Great Lives Series)
Esther: A Woman of Strength and Dignity (Great Lives Series)

In Great Lives: Esther, Dr. Swindoll delves into the real-life story of Queen Esther showing how the qualities that empowered her godly life are available for every Christian. Everyone loves a transformation story. Rags to riches. Plain to beautiful. Weak to strong.

Esther's story is that, but it is much more. It is the account of God working mightily in one life and how godly attributes like courage, dignity, wisdom, and strength can thwart evil and replace terror with joy. Chuck Swindoll celebrates the story of Esther and reveals how every Christian can live a transformation story.

 

Visit the Catholic Contributor for great reviews…

delicious recipes, winning gift ideas and inspirational Catholic & Christian articles at http://www.thecatholiccontributor.com

Walk with Jesus: A Journey to the Cross and Beyond
Walk with Jesus: A Journey to the Cross and Beyond

Walk with Jesus leads churchgoers through the forty days of Lent with daily entries to prepare their hearts for Easter.

It all began with the long awaited coming of Messiah, the person who would preside over the Jewish nation and bring peace and freedom to a people in need. But the Easter story, the Gospel story in the making, ends with a much larger conclusion: the possibility of eternal freedom for all who would believe.

In Walk with Jesus, a forty day Lent devotionalfFrom Charles R. Swindoll, readers go on a compelling journey through the life and ministry of Jesus. This powerful booklet gives insights only a learned teacher could give while engaging the heart and mind only as a pastor can. Anyone wishing to be transformed and find a fresh encounter with God will find it daily through the pages of Walk with Jesus.

 

Have you tried Servant Leadership, at home, at work, in your church group, at your social club? Tell us your experience?

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    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @captainj88: Well said, leahjsongs! Thanks for visiting and sharing how you use servant leadership daily. Have a blessed weekend and may God bless your ministry!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I'm a pastor. I can't live out my vocation effectively without servant leadership. Jesus is the perfect example to follow. Lord of the Universe, yet humble servant even to the point of death (Philippians 2:5-11). I can't agree with you more; this is such an important quality. Chuck Swindoll is a great leader, too, and has been a big influence on my ministry.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @JessicaLVine LM: Thanks for visiting, JessicaLVine, and sharing your experience with Servant Leadership with us. Have a blessed weekend.

    • JessicaLVine LM profile image

      JessicaLVine LM 3 years ago

      Yes. It worked amazingly. Just gotta make sure you don't get carried away and burn out from overextending yourself.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @aesta1: There's an old saying, 'Try and try again. You will succeed at last!' So it is great that you are trying, aesta1. You are not far away from becoming a servant leader :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, it is difficult but we just keep trying.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Glad you liked my lens and the approach I used, Jonathan. Thanks for visiting and have a blessed weekend.

    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 3 years ago

      Beautiful Lens and Approach.

      Jonathan

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      @lisln: Thanks for visiting and sharing, lorlinda. Glad you found it informative.

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

      Christ is an example on what it means to serve. If you want to be a leader then a person should strive to be Christlike. Very informative lens on leadership. A lot of information here.

    • Onethindime LM profile image

      Onethindime LM 4 years ago

      Very nice Christian approach to leadership. Thanks for posting.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      @veronicatarantino: Indeed Veronicatarantino! Thanks for visiting.

    • veronicatarantino profile image

      veronicatarantino 4 years ago

      This is an interesting subject

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks for another blessing WriterJanis. I appreciate it very much.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Back to bless this!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      @dream1983: Thanks for the visit and squidlike dream1983

    • profile image

      dream1983 4 years ago

      Nice lens, interesting reading! Squidlike

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      @Gypzeerose: Like you bloomingrose, I really wish it was emphasized more. Thanks for the visit, BLESSINGS and genuine comment.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      It is rare that being humble and of service is emphasized. Blessed!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      @randomthings lm: I'm glad you noticed randomthings. Thanks for visiting.

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 4 years ago

      Very nice article, lots of good things to think about.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Before we can Lead other's, we must First Learn to Serve other's! A True Leader understand the Needs of the Many, not just the Needs of the Few or the One. Great Leader can Motivate other's or Empower them; most of all they should Care for those they Lead!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      @DrBillSmithWriter: Thanks drbilltellsexcitingstories for visiting and sharing. Thanks for the BLESSING too. I am honoured!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Yes, I definitely believe in it... over many, many years.... many, many situations. Thanks for sharing. Squid Angel blessing to you! ;-)

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      @TolovajWordsmith: Yes, there is hope yet. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      No, but never say never...

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      @TransplantedSoul: Thanks TransplantedSoul for visiting and commenting on my lens.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      I have not tried it. There are many good approaches each with their merits. certainly something ot be learned here.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      @3levels: Thanks 3levels for noticing the importance of this subject and thanks for visiting and commenting on my lens.

    • profile image

      3levels 5 years ago

      Understanding and practising servant leadership is so important - good subject for a lens, thank you for writing it.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      @oclthree: Thanks oclthree for visiting and complimenting my Squidlit. You are so right when you say we can benefit from more servant leaders. Too often people want to lead without getting their hands dirty. My best leadership quotation is from Frank Damazio, who says, "A leader is a servant all of his life." Have a good weekend.

    • profile image

      oclthree 5 years ago

      Nice Squidlit! We could definitely benefit by developing more servant leaders!