Lumen Circle: Servant Leadership
The Walking on the Water. Then he made the disciples get into the boat and
precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he
went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30 j But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
We studied Servant Leadership while meditating on Matthew’s gospel story of Jesus and Peter walking on water. How did a carpenter’s son from a small, poor village in a remote corner of the Roman world create the world’s largest, longest lived, and most successful organization in the history of the world—all in three years? Here are some of our collective observations on Jesus’ example of servant leadership:
1. Inspire, don’t command.
2. Lift up, don’t tear down.
3. Lead by example.
4. Believe in your people.
5. Take risks; let your people fail… and be there to pick them up
6. Be authentic
7. Make people better
8. Perseverance; each day is a fresh start
9. People observe what you do, not what you say
10. Take time for the people at the bottom of the organization, not just your direct reports
Remember: Influence is earned, not ordered
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