Sounds easy, but leadership for the purpose of serving others will fail if we fall prey to false pride and fear. Close examination of failed leadership efforts usually reveal a self-serving leader who has been drawn by pride into taking too much credit, showing off and demanding attention, or by fear that compels us to protect ourselves, hide behind a title, intimidate others, discourage honest feedback and ultimately become known as a control freak.
The results of pride and fear are predictable and always distort the truth into either a false sense of security or a lack of confidence and diminished self-worth. Taking time to identify your fears and sources of false pride can set the groundwork for breaking their negative impact on your relationships and effectiveness as a leader. When you name your demons they lose their power over you, because taming the fear and pride in our hearts brings us one step closer to taming our thoughts and actions.
The servant leader works continuously to tame any addiction to personal pride. To accomplish this it helps to ask some hard questions:
- Do I think of myself more often than I think of others?
- Who is my primary audience in life—my purpose, myself, or others?
- Have I developed a habit of giving?
- Can I participate in a group without taking charge?
- Can I enjoy things and successes in life without owning them?
- Do I use plain, honest speech, letting “yes” be yes and “no” be no?
- Do I reject that which breeds oppression in others?
- Do I shun anything that distracts me from my larger mission in life?
I hope this article has helped you with ideas to prepare your heart. Look for follow-up articles that give ideas for preparing your head and your hands to fulfill your role of servant leadership.