The Leader is an Enabler

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Servant-Leadership > Best Practices > The Leader is an Enabler

The Leader is an Enabler
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
Within the context of the Mission-Men-Self ethos of servant leadership, the Leader enables those around him or her to transcend their personal expectations as a means for achieving the common purpose.
This may require the deflation of the ego-based self-esteem of some while enticing greater moral sufficiency in others, and may not be a pleasant experience in the moment.
But by submitting to Mission before Self, the Leader gains the moral leverage necessary to enable superiors and subordinates alike to be all they can be.

How Servant Leaders Enable Others
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Thanks and congratulations Tom with such profound thoughts and also with your very precise choice of wording. In doing so, you connected the Mission-Men-Self ethos and Greenleaf's Servant Leadership philosophy in a powerful way.

Greenleaf's Servant Leader Philosophy and the Gospel of Mark
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
@Jaap de Jonge (Editor): Thank you for your kind words and the reference to Greenleaf's Servant Leadership Philosophy. This scholarship captures the values I associate with effective leadership.
In the Greenleaf description, a disadvantage of the philosophy is that it can be seen as soft, but my experience is that the submission to Mission is a liberating experience that permits me, personally, to transcend my own personal limitations and to act on the authority of a larger purpose, It is not a soft doctrine in the least: the centurions of the Roman legions were servant leaders under the authority of their warrant and they were the hard core of the Roman Republic and Empire. Servant Leadership is soft in a 'talk softly and carry a big stick' kind of way.

Helping Each Other
van loon, Netherlands, Member
It reminds me of the example set by Pope Francis last Thursday. He went to a prison to wash the feet of twelve young juveniles, among them Muslims and two women. 78 years old he fell on his knees to wash their feet as Jesus did in his time. (Look at the reaction of Peter: John 13,8).
And Pope Francis said: "This is a symbol, meaning I'm at your service. Who is highest must be at the service of others. We have to help each other. I do this with my heart because it is my duty. I must be at your service. In helping each other we do good for each other".

Pope Francis Washing the Feet of Young people in Prison
Debbie Jones, Canada, Member
Finally a positive expression of an enabler!
I too was touched by the example of Pope Francis washing the feet of young people in prison. It is in these acts and messages that others are able to see better ways of being with each other in this world.

George Washington and Servant Leadership
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
@Debbie Jones: I agree with you. Pope Francis;s example is an important reminder to the nature of the Great Commission we have inherited as humans from Jesus.
While I endorse the dimensions of Greenleaf's Servant Leadership, I diverge from his notion that seminaries are the essential source of this management resource. Greenleaf apparently coined the phrase "servant leadership", but servant leadership has been the tradition of the US Army going back to George Washington. The Purple Heart and The Society of the Cincinnati are artifacts of this stewardship. The Purple Heart was the first military award conceived to honor the common soldier and it ultimately included a pension. One of the prime concerns of the Cincinnati became to guarantee this pension.
I am an Army brat and grew grew up in the culture of the servant leadership imperative. Along with Duty Honor Country, Mission, Men,Self was one of the first lessons of my ROTC leadership laboratory. West Point is a seminary.

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