Leadership as loving service?
Over the past couple of weeks there’s been an awful lot said about The Queen, about the person behind the throne, about her faith and the impact it had on her daily life, and most relevant to me, about her qualities as a leader –
The Vision she had for her reign as monarch and how she laid it out for us at her 21st birthday broadcast, ‘I declare before you all…’
Her work ethic and commitment to still put in 40 hour weeks, well into her nineties, is an inspiration to every one of us, whatever age we are.
Her desire to learn, to ask questions, to listen and to understand, set her apart from many leaders who believe and need to demonstrate, that they know everything they need to know already.
A willingness to embrace change and to evolve with the times – that recognition that if you stand still you get run over – while not unique, is equally not a common trait among leaders, particularly among successful business owners who will often cling to what has ‘always worked in the past’, regardless of the changing world around them.
Her sense of humour and the warmth of personality that put everyone at their ease around her.
And for me, the most powerful quality and the one highlighted by the Archbishop of Canterbury during his sermon for the Queen’s funeral – loving service.
“People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.”
Servant leadership, that willingness to see your role as one of responsibility for those you lead, rather than power over them; to value the people who work for you as individuals; to put their needs before your need for power and control; to listen; to trust; to care – has way more long-term impact than the alternative.
But is it the style of leadership many strive for? Do you?