- Martin Luther King Jr.
Our world is making it incredible difficult to be a servant leader. Look around, businesses need to make a profit, employees have to answer to managers or upper management, and winning seems to be the ultimate outcome for the sports world. However, there is room for servant leadership to be developed, modeled and taught. And it begins with us. It begins with us practicing servant leadership each and every day of the year. It begins with us putting a little love in our hearts.
I firmly believe servant leadership is a workplace ready skill that our students need to develop. I can tell you, I am in no way an expert in servant leadership, but I do my best in modeling this to those around me. I definitely know my students would be the first to say, "If there is one thing Mrs. Mo gets excited for, it is when she teaches us about being servant leaders." I try to help my students understand that through servant leadership we build better organizations, we inspire others, and ultimately we make our world a better place.
Teachers, what can we do? First and foremost, we have to love what we do. When we are passionate about what we do servant leadership will be second nature. Next, we can provide a safe environment for students to practice servant leadership. For example, assign a group project where the team members have to complete tasks for their other teammates. Another project had my students completing a 48 hour challenge at home by doing small things around the house to help out their parents. My students could only say "thank you", if their parents recognized the gesture. I did not give a grade, I just encouraged completing acts of service at home. After the challenge, we reflected upon the task as a class.
For me serving my family by picking up toys after my children, washing dishes, doing the laundry, etc., just seem so natural. Don't get me wrong, I am not always happy doing it! There are those days where I would run and hide from me (you know Saturday morning cleaning days). Serving my family brings me joy, but I believe there is definitely a place for a daily chore list. And most days, the list cannot be completed without a complaint or two, but hopefully someday my kids will realize I was molding them into servant leaders.
I could write all day on the importance of servant leadership, but ultimately it starts with us. We can encourage our friends, family members or teammates, we can love the coach we have entrusted our kids to, we can help our coworkers with one extra task. Let's change the world. Let's love what we do. Let's put a little love in our hearts and bring out the best in those around us.