This week, I am in our nation’s capital for a meeting for the Franciscan Action Network, a grassroots organization dedicated to education and advocacy on social justice issues. Because I am in the company of such esteemed colleagues, I ended up watching the Republican National Convention. Okay, I never watch those things; just the You Tube Highlights, you know the bloopers.
Anyway, I did want to check out the nominee for Vice President for the Republican Party, Governor Sarah Palin (pictured). Apparently she’s all that, but I never heard of her until a week ago. She’s cute and perky and had some decent one-liners. But one thing she did say struck me; she spoke of the nominee having a servant’s heart.
What did she mean by a servant’s heart? Well, I wager that her meaning would be the same as mine: a leader who is servant first, displaying compassion, empathy and deep listening skills, among other traits. I totally agree with Governor Palin that our next president should display a servant’s heart; that anyone who is to be an effective leader must have a servant’s heart. Whether I think that will come from the Republican Party will take another entire blog post to unpack, however, I do believe that having a servant’s heart is crucial for great leadership.
A servant leader is also one who can put aside their own agenda for the good of the organization. This is not an easy thing to do when most leadership is governed by ego. When leadership is ruled by ego, then there is no room for anyone or anything else. We must set aside our ego to effectively lead. And if you have to ask whether or not you are leading with your ego, chances are you probably are.
To lead is to serve,