You can't lead if you don't serve

The first lesson in becoming a great leader is to learn to serve in humility. Inflated pride makes us artificial, humility makes us real. British Christian Apologist Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) wrote “Humility is not thinking less of yourself it is thinking of yourself less”.

Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi were three towering figures of the 20th century. Albert Einstein always had two portraits on the wall of his home – the great scientists Newton and Maxwell who were the drive of his life – Science. Towards the end of his life, Einstein replaced it with two others; two great humanitarians; Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer. He explained that “It was time to replace the image of success with the image of service”.

When the Jesus’ disciples were arguing with each other as to who was the greatest of all, Jesus sat them down saying “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and must be the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).  Jesus himself did what no teacher of his time would have ever even imagined doing.  He washed the feet of his disciples and said “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:15-17).

During the American Revolution, a man in civilian clothes saw a group of soldiers struggling to pull out a horse carriage stuck in deep mud. Their officer was shouting instructions but didn’t lend a hand. The stranger asked the officer “Why aren’t you helping them?”  With an air of dignity, he replied, “Sir, I am a Corporal!” The stranger dismounted from his horse and helped the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he told the corporal “Mr Corporal, next time you have a job like this, and don’t have enough men to do it, inform your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again.”

The Corporal was shocked after he realised that the stranger was General George Washington, Commander of the Continental Army, his boss.

The heart of the leader is manifested through humble service to others. Have you found the leader in you?

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