The Spirit of How You Serve….

As a young leader, a mentor of mine shared with me a word of caution as I first came on a team with veteran, experienced leaders. “The spirit of how you serve will be transferred to those who will serve with you one day.” In essence, our attitude of service today is making either an investment or withdrawal from the quality of our future leadership. 

I believe every leader should be focused on the bigger picture (legacy) to help shape their present actions. Today, my heart is filled with extreme gratitude for the men and women who have gone before me and were willing to share with me the wisdom of their journey. Some were even willing to take me under their wings to “show me the ropes.” Without their wisdom and shared experiences, I would be light years behind where I stand today. The greatest and most consistent advice I received was to not become enthralled with the praises of men and become too enamored with my own gifts and talents. One mentor put it this way, “Don’t read your own headlines. Learn to take an insult like you receive a compliment.” This wisdom has kept into perspective the ebbs and flows that come with life in leadership and service to others. 

There have been times I have been privileged to be on teams where the leadership is exemplary and I could not imagine being anywhere else. Other times,  I have been on teams with leaders that probably should not be in the role, to begin with. Ironically, the seasons with tough and incredulous leaders produced the greatest levels of growth. Anyone can produce their best when there is no reason to do anything less. The test comes in when you have no reason to give your best and you still do it anyway. What anchored me in keeping a great attitude in spite of the external circumstances? Simple, I’m serving for my future!

As I began to have the privilege of leading various groups of people, I’ve seen myself — both the good and bad — in the people who I have led. The rebellion and the servant’s heart, they all have been solid reminders of what seeds I have sown toward others. Let me encourage you, start today being a person who has the mind of Christ— one of humility and a willingness to fulfill the plan of God. The quality of your future leadership will thank you!

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