Serving within the Workplace
Millennials have been blamed for many changes our world is experiencing. One change I’ve seen personally, is how the leadership styles of the past have slowly died out and a new style is becoming successful.
We’ve all had that one boss, supervisor or manager who is demanding, then sits at their comfortable desk behind closed doors while everyone else is making their dreams come true. Depending on age and work experience, most of us have just looked the other way and did whatever that person said because we needed the paycheck at the end of the day.
However, we as a generation have begun to stray away from the “manager” type of boss, as we prefer someone who is relatable and personable. This type of leadership style is called “Servant Leadership.” The definition of this term according to the man who coined it, Robert K. Greenleaf, states that “the servant-leader is a servant first...it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.”
This type of leadership can be learned. Some of the best corporations to work for in the world employ this type of leadership at all levels of their business. The interesting thing about this type of leadership is that we, as Christians, know the original servant leader, Jesus Christ.
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26, English Standard Version)
In this, we are told that in order to be considered great, we must serve first and be servants to everyone we encounter. But, how do we make this happen in our work places?
Educational materials are made accessible on the website, greenleaf.org, with ways to learn more about the success of this style of leadership. The whole idea though is actually really natural to us; to treat others the way you want to be treated.
In the work environment, what I’ve noticed as helpful for both myself and for my coworkers are random notes of encouragement, written down. You don’t have to even sign the card for it to have an effect on a stressed co-worker. A positive note helps others to be reminded that they are valued and needed. In stressful fields of work, this random act can mean the difference in a great coworker leaving or staying with the company. It reminds us all that we are valued by serving other’s needs. The smile that they have promotes your own well-being as well.
Friends, I’d like to challenge you all to do just one thing for a co-worker in the coming months, and document how it made you feel, as well their reaction if you can. This could change the entire mindset of your workspace if everyone can participate.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2016
greenleaf.org ©Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.