Last week Anne Miner explained where the term Servant Leadership came from and gave us a great example of how she had applied its principles in the client meeting we had just attended.
Servant Leadership is not a new idea (it has been around for 50 years), but it is an idea that may well help us in moving towards a better world for everyone!
At the close of Part One, I left you with two questions:
Are you a Servant Leader? and
Do you want to know how to become one?
I asked Anne to provide more details on the characteristics of Servant Leaders.
“Anyone can be a Servant Leader from wherever they are in the community!
The one thing that is important to Servant Leaders is the desire to help make the world a better place; they do this by helping others to make their highest and best contribution and achieve their full potential.” Anne declared.
“They are not interested in power; Servant Leaders don’t want to control people and make them do things. Rather, they want to help people do things that make the world better for everyone.
At a time when we are seeing social change and a genuine focus on diversity in all aspects of society, the principles of Servant Leadership are particularly important.”
In her book, “Salsa, Soul, and Spirit,” Juana Bordas pointed out that, “Servant Leadership is deeply anchored in Black, American Indian and Latino cultures that center on community responsibility, public welfare and addressing the social structures that hinder people’s progress… the “top” leadership positions are often rotated among individuals because leadership does not belong to a person, it belongs to the community.”
Anne has been working on a committee to improve Diversity and Inclusion, so I asked her, “How does Servant Leadership intersect with Diversity and Inclusion?”
Anne closed her eyes for a moment while she thought about her answer.
“First of all, we need to accept that no one person and no one group can eliminate the social structures, erase the bias, the prejudice, the racism we still see in 2020.
This is going to have to be a “team effort.”
We need to create connections between Servant Leaders from diverse backgrounds who can help everyone understand how to communicate and how to behave in diversity-sensitive ways. We need to encourage them to participate and build consensus around a shared vision for a better world for everyone.
Juana Bordas gave us nine principles of Multicultural Leadership which seem like a pretty good foundation to build on.”
“Listen, Edna; I have a meeting to go to, so let’s talk more about Servant Leadership and Diversity and Inclusion next week.”
And, so we shall! Watch for Part Three next week.
In the meantime, you might want to read or listen to Salsa, Soul, and Spirit by Juana Bordas. [Link takes you to Amazon.ca]