Posted: 29 Aug 2013 10:55 PM PDT
Why do we choose leaders? Because the followers expect leaders to advance their cause, simply!
Lt Commander (R) John Moi, RMN
"If everything rises or falls on leadership, choosing a servant leader may determine life and death of the people led."
In my previous writings, Servant Leadership 1.0 – Serve to Lead, we saw the concepts of servant leadership, qualities of being a servant leader, the historic and modern perspectives and the model of servant leadership briefly outlined.
This article explores some insights as to how to choose a servant leader based on the qualities and the model of servant leadership written earlier. According to Larry Spears, the Chief Steward of the Greenleaf Centre of Servant Leadership stated that the 10 characteristics of a servant leader are:
For a fuller understanding of the above characteristics, readers are advised to visit the website: www.greenleaf.org
With the understanding that the characteristic of an ideal servant leader is non-exhaustive, I hereby table more distinguishing qualities for your consideration:
Readers can recall the above distinguishing features expected of a modern servant leader by remembering this acronym: S.E.R.V.A.N.T.H.O.O.D.
Following are some of the scriptural principles gleaned from the mainstream believers and Holy Books to anchor the qualities of a faithful servant leader:
Of Christians, Bible and leadership:
"Where there is NO LEADERSHIP, the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety." - Proverbs 11: 14
"Work hard and be a LEADER; be lazy and never succeed. – Proverbs 12: 24
"When there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29: 18
Of Muslims, Koran and leadership:
"Make your character good for the people."- Al-Muwatta, Volume 47 Hadith 1
"It is better for a LEADER to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing." – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1011
"None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."
- Bukhari and Muslim
Of Buddhists, Tipitaka and leadership:
"To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance." – Gautama Buddha
"I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done." - Buddha
"We are shaped by our thought; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." - Buddha's teachings
Of Jews, Torah and leadership:
"One person's candle is a light for many." - Talmud
"Do not separate yourself from the community." - Misnah
"Act while you can: While you have the chance, the means and the strength." - Talmud
Of Hindus, Vedas and leadership:
"One, who earns LEADERSHIP of the masses by working ceaselessly for people's welfare finally realizes that he has been rewarded with many advantages." - Veda
"Money and mansions are not the only wealth. Hoard the wealth of the Spirit. Character is wealth, good conduct is wealth; and spiritual wisdom is wealth." - Atharva Veda
"One who acquires knowledge and then pass it on to others, get all his wishes fulfilled and achieves success, happiness and prosperity in his life." - Atharva Veda
Of Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib and leadership:
"Often repeated actions are engraved on the heart." - Guru Nanak
"Realization of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is Truthful Living."- Guru Nanak
"The world is in agony because of the filth of ego, the word is filthy because of duality; the filth of ego cannot be washed away, even as one bathes at one hundred holy places." - Guru Amar Das, Sri Raga
Of Bahais, Kitab-i-Aqan and leadership:
"The first quality for LEADERSHIP both among individuals and Assemblies is the capacity to use the energy and competence that exists in the rank and file of its followers." - Shoggi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, page 33
"Put away the garment of vain glory, and divest yourselves of the attire of haughtiness." (arrogance and / or pride, emphasis mine) - Bahaullah, The Persian Hidden Words 47
"The spiritually learned must be characterized by both inward and outward perfection; they must possess a good character, an enlightened nature, a pure intent, as well as as intellectual power, brilliance and discernment, intuition, discretion and foresight, temperance, reverence and a heartfelt fear of GOD." - Abdul Baha, The Secrets of Divine Civilization, page 33
On seeking forgiveness from learned people
I seek the readers' forgiveness should I make any mistakes or left out those that have not been quoted here. Some of the Holy Books include compilations of lesser Scripture or minor books but nonetheless, are equally important. I am starting here with the main "Holy Books" and inspiring quotations from great Leaders of the faiths.
If each and everyone of us (who is a servant leader in default) can take into consideration some, if not, all the values proposed in choosing a capable servant leader to lead us, then the world will be a better place for us and our future generations to come.
In summary, choosing the right leaders who will serve us rather than us serving them is of utmost importance and I believe the Holy Books of the various faiths can guide us in this troubled time. I leave you with this gem: "Whatever actions we are about to do should be thought of with utmost care and concern for people will see them and be influenced by them for good or evil." (Teachings of Buddha)
Note: Lt Commander (R) John Moi, RMN is a management consultant and writer. A founder / advocate of Scriptures to business (S2b) practices and applications, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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