Happy New Year from the Greenleaf Center! For me, January is a month marked by inward reflection and outward resolve. Everything seems possible at the beginning of a new year. I have 12 months to make this one the best year ever. So I dream big and set out on the journey. However, I have found that unless I truly reflect on my journey to this point and learn from where I lost my way, I am destined to repeat those wrong turns. I decided to alter the course of my life by making a career change in 2014. It would have been easy to NOT defy the status quo but I wanted more. Many wonderful advisors, mentors and friends helped me along the way and now here I am!
I now reflect on the question of how have I served others in 2014, a year of individual change. During my recent transition, I still continued to mentor others. As I learned more about Greenleaf’s teachings, I found myself listening more and becoming increasingly more aware of how that I was giving advice more than I was coaching. The best help I can offer to those whom I serve and lead is to aid in their growth. In 2015, I will remind myself daily of Greenleaf’s Best Test and endeavor to do better.
This past week, we celebrated the dream, life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Aided by the poignant portrayal of the Civil Rights movement in the movie, Selma, I was reminded of the sacrifices made by revolutionaries of the era and that the physical, emotional and mental abuse was inevitable in order to enhance the lives of others. Those sacrifices were shared by the leaders, their spouses and families, which were found at the heart of service to others. Nonetheless, I have also realized that these well-respected leaders were also very human. They too had moments of doubt and didn’t always reach their own level of expectations and the ones that society impressed upon them. Yet, they kept moving forward while doing the work. Even now, 50 years later, there is still more work to do in continuing the fight for justice.
With those lessons fresh in my mind, I vow to serve others better this year. From a personal standpoint, servant leadership is a journey. As a fully human being, I will make a mistake by choosing the wrong option from time to time. Notwithstanding, I will continue to improve my listening ability and continue to heighten my self-awareness. These goals will enable me to simply be better. Now, I invite you to reflect: What do you resolve about your servant-leader journey for 2015?
The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership is committed to helping you explore Servant Leadership more deeply. We invite you to enroll in the two Greenleaf Academy courses starting up in February 2015. You can learn more about these courses in this newsletter and register at greenleaf.org .