The Habit of Servant Leadership

Published 04/26/2018

I had lunch with a new friend several weeks ago, Frank Sommerville. Frank told me his dad pastored for many years in a small church in a bad part of town that ministered to bikers, gang members, addicts, and felons. The church never had more than 65 members at any one time.
And yet, over 300 pastors came out of that church.

Recently, I attended the memorial service of the father of my friend, Bruce Barbour. Bruce’s dad was a Christian publisher. Hundreds of millions of books were printed and sold under his watch. Books like The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Most likely, you never heard of Bruce’s dad. Yet millions of lives were impacted by him. Both of these men had created the habit of servant leadership in their own lives. This is a powerful concept because habits are choices!

Servant leadership starts with the core belief and choice that we start by serving. I love the following quote by my dad:

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar

Serve other people and focus on solving their problems and you will be rewarded in the process.
Being a servant leader requires these three habits:

  • Mindset – the habit of right thinking
  • Strategy – the habit of right planning
  • Action – the habit of right implementing

“Great servant leaders emerge not because of chance or circumstances, but because of the choices they make and the habits created from these choices.” – Tom Ziglar

Mindset is your view of yourself and the world. It’s your character multiplied by your attitude. Mindset is determined by your thinking, and your thinking is determined by the inputs that come into your mind and how you choose to deal with those inputs. The habit of right thinking is simply the fruit of choosing the right input, and rejecting input that does not align with your core values. What you read and listen to and who you associate with all impact your mindset and determine your thinking.

Strategy is your game plan for accomplishing your goals. You are the architect of your life and you need a good plan to build the life you want. Your mindset determines the quality of your building materials. Strategy allows you to maximize your building materials. What are the goals and plans you have for your life?

Action is simply implementing the plan. Nothing happens until you take action. The right building materials (mindset) and the right architectural design (strategy) will mean nothing until the house is actually built (action).

A few questions for you to ponder:

  • • What does servant leadership mean to you?
  • • What do you want to be known for?
  • • What do you want people to say about you behind your back?
  • • What reputation do you want to have?

Once you have clarity on what you want to be known for, you can choose to create the habits that will allow you to become this person:

  • • Choosing what you put into your mind creates the right thinking – Mindset
  • • Choosing to set goals and planning the design of your life – Strategy
  • • Choosing to implement your plans and goals – Action

You can Live to Win and become a servant leader – it’s a choice!