|September 2010 Vol 2 Issue 9|
The Parable of Brother Leo
legend tells of a French monastery known throughout Europe for the
extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several
monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost
immediately, they began to bicker about who should do various chores.
the third day they met another monk going to the monastery, and he
joined them. This monk never complained or shirked a duty, and whenever
the others would fight over a chore, he would gracefully volunteer and
do it himself.
By the last day, the others were following his example,
and from then on they worked together smoothly. When they reached the monastery and asked to see Brother Leo, the man who greeted them laughed. 'But our brother is among you!' And he pointed to the fellow who had joined them.
many people seek leadership positions, not so much for what they can do
for others but for what the position can do for them: status,
connections, perks, advantages. They do service as an investment, a way
to build an impressive resume. The
parable about Brother Leo teaches another model of leadership, where
leaders are preoccupied with serving rather than being followed, with
giving rather than getting, with doing rather than demanding. Leadership based on example, not command. This is called servant leadership.
you imagine how much better things would be if more politicians,
educators, and business executives saw themselves as servant leaders?
What Leaders are Reading
Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf, Larry C. Spears. This highly influential book is filled with prophetic essays on what Greenleaf coined "autocratic leadership" with a holistic approach.
The Servant Leader by James A. Autry. Learn how to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance.
Fail-Safe Leadership by Linda Martin and David Mutchler. Straight forward talk about the leadership challenges that face most organizations.