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Tracing the Past, Present and Future of Servant-Leadership

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    As I sat and thought of what leadership must have looked like in the past then to the present and on to the future it is an amazing journey. It’s also a great time of improvement and enhancing that we now have. Leadership must have been so limited for those that was trying to lead, because now there is so much advancement and all of the modern technology along with people thinking “outside of the box”. The limitless innovations and all of the trainings that are taking place will help the leader to be so much better/advanced. We have always had leaders around but not to the extent that we have today. The leaders in the past was just that a leader but not knowing how to move to the next level from time to time.

    When I was a young lady my parents were our leaders and they led to the best of their abilities and for that I am thankful today. I also had teachers that I saw leadership abilities and skills in them but they could only lead so much and so far, but they assisted us in our learning and we made it to the point of no return. We were able to graduate and get a diploma and some moved on to higher learning. They truly had an impact on us as young people and we are so thankful for them, even today. These people did make and impact in our lives as to the fact that we wanted to excel. I realize and know that servant-leadership has been around for decades and continues to create a manifest itself throughout agencies, organizations globally.

    The text speaks of the early years of the twenty-first century as we see the traditional, autocratic and hierarch modes of leadership. Greenleaf/Spears (2002) There’s a new leadership model that is focusing more on serving others as a whole in the workplace/community and abroad. I also like the idea that a servant-leader is not coerced into doing or being, but they have a desire to serve. It’s good to know also that servant leadership is not an overnight fix, but it takes time as one is transformed, this is a process to doing what’s necessary. As I read on I was able to find the 10 characteristics of servant-leader and they are: Listening, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Persuasion, Conceptualization, Foresight, Stewardship, Commitment to the growth of People and Building Community. These 10 characteristics of servant-leadership are of great importance in the world today.

    These 10 characteristics will affect us in significant and lasting ways as they are applied to areas of importance and urgency. In dealing with servant-leadership, past, present and future we have to keep in mind that the people of old did not have degrees and was not educated as we are today so then they used what they had and that was not to strong. However, they still had the mindset to help and that is what servant does, serves others from the heart. Servant-leadership also encompasses multiculturalism as well. We must know that the past is history, the present is where we are now, and the future is in the making and is not promised to any of us. Nevertheless, we do know that servant-leadership is a growing movement, there has been tremendous growth over the years, and it will continue to be a growing trend.

    I am thinking of a leader at this time when I was a very young girl, he led by precepts and examples. I have never ever seen a leader such as this man of God that had it together as well as he did. If he told you, something was going to take place or happen it did. He walked the walk as well as talked the talk and lived the life. I love it when a leader have the oversight as well as insight this is just marvelous to me.

    Essentials of Servant-Leadership

    When I think of essentials, I am thinking of something that is necessary, something one must possess in order to be successful as far as being helped along the way. If this is necessary to accomplish or to assist others we must put it on, we must show that we have what it takes to get through this journey. Being a servant depends on the individual. Leadership revolves around being a servant. The things that’s necessary for and to leadership is how much we put into it and what are we expecting or trying to obtain from it? The story of Leo was a very interesting story as he was the leader all the time but was not looked upon as such. Leo was the one that was doing the work. A leader will lead and not always shone in his work.

    To me, the essentials of leading and being that leader is that we are to put all into it and obtain it. Those that are looked upon as the least to me are the greatest. Being low and coming down the line as a humble person is the way of a servant-leader. I love to serve and not be served all the time. A servant-leader will start out small/low and he will work up to being a great person or leader in the sight of the people. The essentials of the past are not that for today. What they used and said in the past will not hold today. There are new voices on the horizon that is being introduced and people are listening to them. I like the ideas of newness being introduced as new concepts, ways and actions are a must in this time. The text states “We are first a servant then a servant-leader”. Spears, (2002). I do believe once leadership is established we can follow the examples that are set forth.

    As I continue to close this chapter on Essentials of Servant-Leadership, I am thinking that without people being served as our greatest assets and their needs being placed above our needs we are not doing what Christ is asking us to do. We are just being as others; not trying to do as the master instructs us, this requires us to be a servant-leader.

    An Introduction to Leadership

    As I reflect on the reading of this chapter an being an older woman my perspective of leadership is not that of a teenager. From my experiences leaders can be women, men, young, old and from diverse backgrounds. I do feel that leaders can’t lead where they have not gone. It’s so important to try and see that we are also servants and leaders in the same. I am thinking how can I make it better if I try hard enough to put others needs above mine? Who are leaders or a leader? What does leadership entail? These questions must be answered if we are to spread this servant-leadership information to others as well as take the role of a leader individually.

    I have had many leadership roles, but did not consider myself a leader. I was the Sunday School Teacher, Usher Board President, Program Committee Chairman, and other positions and I thought that I did a great job in what I was given to do. Ordering uniforms or having them made and paid for by the Usher Board was indeed a task, but I made it through. As I look back on this experience and many others, I feel they really helped me to be a better leader today. I am still using the various offices today to assist those that are in leadership. Sometimes when we take on the role of a leader we do not always fully understand what this is calling for. Asking questions is necessary, so that we can do the job efficiently and effectively.

    Understanding the duties involved is a great task because this is the only way an individual will be fruitful and multiply in this God given assignment. Most leaders lead as far as their abilities will allow. If leaders do not take on the Lord Jesus, I do not see them as being an effective leader to the body of Christ. Christ should be the center of our beings. He should be the one that is orchestrating our every footstep and also our thought process and everything about us.


    1. Komives, Susan, R., Lucas, Nance; McMahon, Timothy R.; Exploring Leadership (2013); For College Students who want to make a difference (Third Edition): Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA
    2. Spears, Larry; Lawrence, Michele (2002); Focus on Leadership; Servant-Leadership for the Twenty-First Century; John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York

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