The Reluctant Leader

It seems, for the past several years, we have been inundated with leaders who are full of hubris and narcissistic self worth.

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We are subject to a daily dose of our senators and congressmen and our President…telling us of their numerous accomplishments and unfailing good judgment and our un-equivocated need for their leadership.

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The Father of our Country, George Washington, was a reluctant leader.

‘ The Congressional delay in certifying George Washington’s election as president only allowed more time for doubts to fester as he considered the herculean task ahead.  He savored his wait as welcome reprieve, he told his former comrade in arms and future Secretary of War Henry Knox, adding that his ‘movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.’   Ron Chernow – Smithsonian Magazine, February 2011

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‘And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.’   Exodus  4:10   KJV

The Servant Leader…is hard to find.

I have often reflected on former Senator Paul Simon and his offer of assistance to Mary Jane, shortly after she obtained her Masters degree.

At a book signing, about two weeks prior to his untimely death, he asked Mary Jane how she was doing.  She told him of being proud that the had completed her Master’s Degree, at the age of 40, but that she was having no luck in her goal of teaching workforce education to prisoners.

The Senator told her to contact his assistant and set up a meeting with him and that he would do everything that he could to make calls of introduction on her behalf.  He went to say how much that the admired her goal and that he believed that she would achieve it.

Now, we had never worked for Senator Simon and he had been out of politics for several years.  Yet, his willingness to help Mary Jane…illustrated to me that he had a Servant’s Heart.

Senator Simon’s daughter, Shelia, wrote Mary Jane a note, several weeks after his death, and told her that as she was going through his papers in his office she found where he had dictated a letter from him to the Director of Prisons, on Mary Jane’s behalf.

When you encounter a leader with a servant’s heart…you will know so quickly.

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Does the leader care more about your well being more than their political expediency?

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There is a humility…and grace…and a valuing of all they encounter.

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3 responses

  1. It’s going to be difficult to find servant leaders in a world of reality TV stars….

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