Monday, June 16, 2008

Servant Leadership

By Brad Catherman
Vice President, Gift Planning

In this Presidential election year, much is made of a candidate’s leadership ability. In fact, the very definition of leadership becomes a topic worthy of debate. We like to align a host of adjectives to our most revered leaders: courageous, honest, proactive, articulate, intelligent, charismatic, and others. However, I would like to suggest that the principle hallmark of a leader is having the heart of a servant.

The most effective leaders with whom I have had the privilege of working are the ones whose main goal is to serve others, not be served by others. Leaders achieve effectiveness by serving others in their organization when they create an environment to maximize everyone’s talents, abilities, and resources – who in turn – serve clients, customers, or other stakeholders. True leaders understand that they are not at the “top of the pyramid,” but rather, true leaders understand the most effective organizational pyramid stands upside down on its tip, where the leader is at the bottom! Those who are served always take their rightful place at the top of the upside-down pyramid. In this model, a servant leader’s main attributes would include being unselfish, nurturing, respectful, and a team-builder.

Being new to the management team at Senior Citizen Services, I have witnessed this culture of servant leadership on a daily basis. This fundamental perspective was the reason I wanted to join SCS. Our managers and supervisors serve each other and our volunteers, who in turn are always eager and dedicated to serve our seniors in many ways. This focus on our priority to serve drives everything we do at SCS.

Servant leadership demands the best traits in all of us, and at SCS, it’s the reason for our success since 1965. Thank you for all you do to help us serve our seniors in the future.

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