Servant / Leadership, and Gratefulness.
Ox Strong Meeting in November…We had 34 men at Ox Strong this past Saturday. Brian Conway did a great job challenging each of us in the area of Servant / Leadership, and Gratefulness (a perfect follow-up from Chief Reilly’s message on Volunteerism, and perfect timing as Thanksgiving is fast approaching). For those of you who don’t know Brian…he is a native Grinnellian, and current principal at Davis Elementary. He recognizes his strengths and weakness and attempts to improve on both each day. His father, Denny, modeled for him a passion for education and for helping others. These qualities have been adopted by Brian as well. It brings him great joy to watch students learn and grow. Brian asked us to do some self-assessing and ask ourselves, “Are my priorities in the right place concerning servant/leadership, and gratefulness?” Below is his discussion on both topics.
Servant / Leadership:
Brian's Notes in Full
Gratefulness and Servant Leadership by Brian Conway (Ox Strong 11-9-19).
● Gratefulness: warmly or deeply appreciative kindness or benefits received; thankful
● Servant Leadership: Being a servant first—- Robert Greenleaf (1970)
○ “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?“
○ A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.
○ Key attributes: Self-awareness, listening, changing the pyramid, coaching/not controlling, developing your colleagues, utilizing strengths, and foresight
● A little bit about myself
○ How and why these topics are close to my heart—- My father as an example and one where I have truly looked back and assessed where I fall short as a man from time to time
■ That I feel strengths of mine can also be my downfall at times
■ Sadly, it is with the people closest to me where this is the case
● Scripture on Servant Leadership
○ Luke 22(25-27)--- Last supper with Jesus
■ And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
○ John 13 (12-17)--- Jesus showing the example of how to be a servant by washing the feet of people
● Why servant leadership?
○ Experiences growing up and how that set the table
○ School experiences
■ Helping to cultivate leaders to serve our community
■ No single part is greater than the sum of the parts
■ How do I show this each and every day?
■ What do we do from a school perspective to cultivate this in our students?
■ Why is this important and what can this mentality and way of doing business hopefully benefit our community in the long run?
○ Community Experiences
○ Home Experiences
■ Often times there is a disconnect between how I operate at my job and in the community and how I operate at home
■ Am I a servant leader at home?
■ If not, what example am I setting for my children?
○ Spiritual Experiences
■ Is what I show to my children helping them further their journey with Christ?
■ There is connection in what we do in our everyday lives and how that applies but what specific things can I do to further this?
○ Colossians 3:15—- A how-to on living a new life with Christ
■ And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
○ Shifting our mindset ○ Showing this in my workplace
○ Showing this at home
■ What specific examples am I setting for my children
○ How am I showing this in my community?
○ How am I showing this with God?
■ Is there consistency or am coming to God mostly when the times get tough?
● Action Steps
○ Journal or jot down in which ways you feel you are currently exhibiting servant leadership and exhibiting gratefulness at your job, in your home, in your community, and in your spiritual life
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 2 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter