Have you ever thought about the difference between serving and leading?

Is that even important? Would an awareness of this difference impact the way we live and work with people?

I think it does it every relationship in life. It matters to everybody.

A leader has followers. People trust her, she inspires loyalty, and they follow her. She comes up with a shared vision that people follow. That’s an idea of what a leader does.

A servant’s job is to gauge the needs of his master and to meet them. He doesn’t set the agenda, he follows an agenda.

Yes, in real life, there is no clear dichotomy between these two. A good leader must serve and a good servant must be proactive and when appropriate lead.

Yet, it matters what mindset you come to the table with. What is your default mindset? It’s hard to default to both.

When I see a client, my default is servanthood. I default to try to find out what they really want to get done, what their desires and needs are, and then work to help them achieve these needs. As we work together, I gently gain trust and start serving a dual role. That of servant first and coach when they are amenable to change.

I think the default of servanthood is the most effective one.