Can serving others transform the way you lead?

I’d like to ask you a question – Can serving others transform the way you lead?

Last Friday, I attended a Leadership retreat at my church. The topic was viewing your work as an opportunity to worship in a way that serves others.  As you can imagine – there were several stories heard that day from some very successful CEOs and business leaders who had created a culture of service within their corporate cultures and were transforming the way they connect and lead their teams.

Here is a brief synopsis of those who spoke and the key points they shared.

Phil Vischer – VeggieTales

Phil Vischer – Veggie Tales

  • Your dream has to be a dream bigger than you but it cannot become your idol and lose sight of God and his glory.
  • As a Christian leader, your dream is about God and you, your faith, your Godliness, your relationships and your integrity.
  • What’s more important – your dream or your God? When God gives you a dream and it comes alive, it’s your job to keep God your primary focus.
  • Pay attention to God’s whispers. Learn to wait on him when necessary. Make it a daily habit of connecting with him with no agenda.
  • Don’t worry about the outcomes – that’s God’s job. You worry about obedience.
  • Be aware of your dreams and don’t confused them with misplaced longings. God is enough.

Tom Nelson – Made to Flourish

  • When you’re focused – live it out – SHARE it.
  • The more you talk about your vision, the more focused you’ll be at working it every day.
  • What’s the story you want to tell? What’s it mean to bear much fruit? To bear fruit, you must abide in Christ.
  • To be faithful, you must be fruitful. To be fruitful, you must be faithful.
  • Fruitfulness is more than relational – it’s a vast majority of your time.  How are you spending the vast majority of your time?
  • If Jesus was to give you an annual review, what would he say? Where are you doing well and where are some opportunities for growth?

Bryant Ambelang – President, CEO – NatureSweet

The Golden Rule – Do unto others what you want them to do unto you. To do more, you need to LEAD.

5 Elements of unleashing the power of your people

  1. Teach your story
  2. Define your story and what you really really want.
  3. Be intentional – you’ll never fail for a lack of resources, you’ll fail for a lack of intentions.
  4. Outcome is overrated. Build something new – be used in your workplace and in your family.
  5. Be joyful – have joy in your life. What you’re digging is an amazing treasure with each shovel.

Kelly Shackelford – First Liberty Institute

The enemy will always challenge you if you’re going to have an impact.

You’re protected to share your faith.



Norm Miller – Interstate Batteries

  • Find creative ways to connect with your team and share your love.
  • Be a good steward of the incredible blessings God has given you.
  • Be the leader who leads by taking action.
  • Go beyond your team’s expectations – be compassionate.
  • Pause every day and thank God for what he has done in your life.
  • Model Christ – allow your faith to define you.

Bill Hybels – Willow Creek Community Church

  • God treasures people the most.
  • As a leader, you have been entrusted to his people.
  • Share how you met Jesus.
  • Respect people even those with opposite beliefs but also ask for respect in return.



Patrick Lencioni – The Table Group

  • To lead, you have to go first.
  • Help your team identify their areas of improvement.
  • Constantly remind your people of areas they have to improve in.
  • Learn to coach –it’s your job.
  • Be Courageous

There is a common denominator amongst all of these leaders – Do you see it? They serve their people. I noticed each and every one of them talk about their teams and referred to them as team-mates or team members. They weren’t just employees – they each played a valuable role in the overall success of the company. They were valued and they knew it by the way the leader and company served them. You want to transform you culture and make it a better place to be?  Find a way to add value back to your team and learn to serve them by putting them first.

I’ll never forget a story I read about a Prince who wanted to desperately connect with his people but because of cultural norms, he was prevented from interacting with them. So he snuck out and disguised himself as a peasant and went on a journey with a group of men from his community.  On the journey, he connected with these men and they didn’t know who he was until the very end.  But in doing so, he learned how to best serve them because he was willing to remove himself out of his class and become the leader his people needed him to be.

Which of these speakers and lessons speaks to you the most? What will you do with it?

What are your thoughts on servant leadership? And how can I best serve you or your organization?  If you’d like to learn more, connect with me and I’d love to help.

To lead is to serve.

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