Sunday, 22 July 2012

“To Serve is to Lead Others” - Professor M.S.Rao

“If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long…. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that’s not important…. I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody…. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.” – Dr. Martin Luther King

Traditionally, leaders were treated as heroes.  Ever since Robert Greenleaf came out with a new leadership style – servant leadership, the perception towards leadership has changed totally, and shifted from heroism to servant hood as he said that leaders are basically servants who lead from the front with a heart to serve others.  When we take the case of Mother Teresa she remained like a true servant leader throughout her life by serving the poor and downtrodden in India.  She said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in an ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” Hence, everyone must contribute and serve in whatever the capacity possible.    The present world also needs less of heroes but more of leaders with a heart to serve others. If teachers serve students with a heart to share their knowledge and make a difference in the lives of students, they are servant leaders. If doctors serve patients with dedication and service orientation, they are known as servant leaders. If engineers deliver their work sincerely and lead from the front with a servant mindset they are known as servant leaders. Therefore, whosoever serves in their professions with a service mindset to make a difference, they are known as servant leaders.  Hence, servant leaders never claim to be heroes but they treat themselves to be servants for others. 

Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu are servant leaders who served in their capacities as servants, not as leaders.  They did not crave for leadership status but cared for the common man and the problems of people. Currently corporate world needs servant leaders to manage capitalism with a servant heart, not with a capitalist mindset.   They must be protectors and preservers of common good.  They must shoulder responsibility with a vision to make a difference, not to expect anything for their personal fulfillment.  They must lead from the front with a great heart by treating all people equally with respect and dignity.  They must be humble at core and regard themselves as servants of people.

Therefore, those who serve the people with passion and dedication with a heart to make a difference are servant leaders.  Servant leaders keep others interests about their own interests. They are born for the people, live for the people, and die for the people. These leaders are not confined to politics or religious organizations, but are spread across all sectors and areas.  Their purpose is to have passion to serve others. Their intention is to serve others.  Their goals are to live beyond their times.  They strictly follow the philosophy and practice to serve others.  The present century needs such mindset and attitude to make a difference in the lives of others.

"If leadership serves only the leader, it will fail. Ego satisfaction, financial gain, and status can all be valuable tools for a leader, but if they become the only motivations, they will eventually destroy a leader. Only when service for a common good is the primary purpose are you truly leading." - Sheila Murray Bethel, Making a Difference: 12 Qualities That Make You a Leader.

Born for the Students

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