I subscribe to the idea that leadership is far from lording over people. Instead, it has to do with making a difference in the lives of others. You can be of value to others by identifying and serving your gift to the world. Unfortunately, the world is replete with leaders who are focused on being served and serving their own selfish interests. In our own backyard, hardly a day passes without a newspaper headline decrying corruption, both in the public and private sectors.
Those who get tenders rush to tick German automobiles off their bucket list before they can even pay their employees. Big corporates collude for nefarious reasons at the expense of the poor. Failure to serve also manifests in simple, yet everyday interactions between people at work or other walks of life. Getting good service is like pulling a tooth on a dentist chair.
Imagine how the world would be if we turned the leadership philosophy on its head from being served to serving others. This starts by asking the question, “how can I make a difference in someone else’ life?” as opposed to “what can you do for me?”. You and I can improve our immediate surroundings by embracing the following principles:
1. Serving is your gift to the world
I once came upon an anonymous quote that changed my view about serving and it says, “if serving is below you, leadership is beyond you”. It is not jostling for positions of authority, selling your soul or conscience, instead, it is about serving your gift to the world.
2. Serving others is a choice
A friend of mine felt perturbed by an organisation that failed to acknowledge her contribution with a simple thank you. I impressed upon her that her expectation is not unreasonable, however the biggest fact to consider is the reason for her giving in the first place. Serving has everything to do with your attitude and the impact you would like to leave on those you care for.
3. Serving attracts abundance
Most of us grow with a scarcity mentality and we do not realise that more than enough exists in this world. By serving, we start to speak the language of the universe which will reciprocate by fulfilling our needs. You will start to see people stepping forward to offer help. You will start to receive the flow of ideas pertinent to your success. Stan Toler says, “when you give generous gifts, you build up a bank of good will”.
4. Those who serve embrace responsibility
People who serve never run away from responsibility. They volunteer their services for the benefit of others instead of manipulating and controlling others for their benefit. Those who serve grow others to ensure that the organisation grow beyond their presence.
5. Serving is the ultimate form of greatness
The meaning of greatness is lost in the definition we attach to the sizes of our bank accounts, our addresses and what we drive. No, greatness is about the smile we put on a neighbour’s child, it’s about the weight we alleviate on those who struggle. It is gifting our unique value to our fellow citizens no matter how small a gesture it is.
Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper
Tex Hlalele is a life and business coach and inspirational speaker. Book coaching and speaking engagements at If you liked this piece, please sign up to receive email correspondence that will come to you once a week.