A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. Lao Tzu - Chinese philosopher
What a gift Robert Greenleaf left us. In some ways when you speak of servant leadership and what it means, it's simple enough. Yet, like life, things that seem simple - are complex, deep, misunderstood, or downright just hard to execute! For example, servant leadership is questioned as a viable leadership model in corporate America...
So, no surprise, we've spent the last 11 blogs going deep into servant leadership by starting with the competencies Robert Greenleaf identified. And that's just the beginning! We will be spending the next 9 delving even deeper into Greenleaf's vision! That will be be 20+ blogs on a "simple" leadership model! Yikes!
That said, it's been a wonderfully fulfilling investment of time to explore and understand servant leadership. This journey is impacting me. My thirst and interest for knowledge in this topic is not subsiding…if anything, something has been activated. Perhaps the series of "aha moments" explains my "WHY-ering" has been confirmed / explained / reinforced. Note: my #1 Clifton StrengthsFinder Theme is "Connectedness".
I'm Not the Only One...
No surprise, this series seems to be impacting others too! Below is a stack-rank list of the servant leader competencies that seemed to resonate with readers who stumbled across my writings or were led to them via one of the social media outlets and felt compelled to "Like" or comment...
The Ranking…By "likes"...
Note: It's only been a week since Building Community was published, so the numbers will evolve...overall though, the stack ranking is telling:
2. Developing Others AKA Commitment to the Growth of the People
6. Building Community
7. Authentic Listening
The order is telling and it's order begs some "Why" questions...
Why is stewardship and persuasion so low? Before delving into both topics I had some misconceptions about what stewardship and persuasion were in relationship to servant leadership…perhaps that's why it's low in the rankings...readers saw the title and moved on without opening the door...
Why should we care? As I look at the order. It is telling that there's a need. The quest for knowledge. A void that needs to be filled.
Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership
So through the gifts of Robert Greenleaf, we continue our journey deeper into the "simple" concept of servant leadership. Greenleaf had the insight, the depth of thought, and the intentionality to outline – in-depth – what servant leadership really is…by adding the seven pillars Greenleaf helps us answer “How do I begin implementing Servant Leadership in my workplace?” Don't be fooled though - it does not stop with the 7! Embedded in each Pillar are numerous core leadership traits or competencies - which may explain the complexity, deepness, or misunderstanding.
Proverbs 9:1 - “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars.”
Numerology - "The number 7 is the seeker, the thinker, the searcher of Truth (notice the capital "T"). The 7 doesn't take anything at face value -- it is always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. The 7 knows that nothing is exactly as it seems and that reality is often hidden behind illusions."
Scholars say "Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual)."
Here's more sevens...
Seven deadly sins
Seven Classical Planets
Seven Metals of antiquity
Seven days in the week
Seven colors in the rainbow
Seven against Thebes
Seven Kings of Rome
Seven Emperors (and period; Rome, history)
Seven hills of Istanbul
Seven hills of Rome
Seven Liberal Arts
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove in China
Seven Sages of Greece
Saptarishi – Seven Sages concept in Ancient India
Seven Wise Masters, a cycle of medieval stories
Seven Wonders of the ancient world
And, let's now add Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership's!
Additional source into the seven pillars:
Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership: Practicing the Wisdom of Leading by Serving; Revised & Expanded Edition - by James W. Sipe and Don M. Frick
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation / team.
SEE Summary List of Other Blogs!
About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria