Why It Takes Bravery to Be a Servant-Minded Leader

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Servanthood is central to Christianity. The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus as a suffering servant, and Jesus called us to take up our cross and follow after Him. Christians are called to serve, just as Christ served.

Unfortunately, the world prefers power over service. Sometimes we forget to take our cues from Jesus and instead listen to the world.

Dr. Kathleen Patterson, the director of the Doctor of Strategic Leadership Program at Regent University, sat down with me on the first episode of the Life as Leadership on the Charisma Podcast Network to share her insight on servant leadership—the idea of leading by focusing on your followers first.

When asked about misconceptions on the topic, Patterson said, “There is the assumption that servanthood is weak. It’s permissive. People are going to take advantage of you. And I love to say that servant leadership is for the brave.” Why does it take bravery to be a servant leader? People like recognition, and servants do not often get recognized.

A servant leader is more focused on their followers than the recognition. According to Patterson, “When you’re great to your people, they do great things.”

If you care more about the impact you could have than the recognition you could receive, you are likely a great servant leader. But the best way to tell if you are a great servant leader is to look at your followers, your employees, your kids. When you serve others through your leadership, you get the satisfaction of sitting back and watching them achieve amazing results. {eoa}

Josh Friedeman is a leadership coach with a mission to help leaders live and lead well. He is in the process of completing a Ph.D. in organizational leadership at Regent University and hosts the Life as Leadership podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. If you are a leader who has thought about coaching, join Josh for a no-pressure Leadership Strategy Session.

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