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The 2 Tests
In Disciple-making Leadership, here is a quick way to assess your leadership
In continuing through The Servant Leader by Blanchard and Hodges, they pause early on and force you to answer a simple question - are you a servant leader or a self-serving leader?
When asked that question, any savvy leader will, of course, say they are a servant leader. Typically, they start to describe how they have served others. Well, let me say this - hold on and not so fast. A leader may answer one way, but the critical aspect is how the “followers” would answer a similar question.
If you want to reflect and potentially get closer to the real answer, here are two tests that Blanchard and Hodges put forward:
How do you receive feedback?
How vibrant is your succession planning?
Servant leaders take feedback as opportunities for growth and to not rise up to defend themselves. They also look for ways to share authority and grow others for their future roles. On the other side, self-serving leaders view feedback as an attack on them and their position; so they debate it instead of listening to it. With succession planning, they often push that aside as they want to concentrate and keep power for themselves.
Why does this matter for Disciple-making Leadership? For someone trying to implement DmL, their sole focus is servant leadership as they must pass both of those simple tests. Look at succession planning. It’s focus is on developing others for future roles and that is the heart and soul of DmL. To make that happen, the leader has to partner with the other person to gain a better understanding (e.g., feedback) of how they can best serve them.
DmL and Servant Leadership go hand in hand.
As we wrap up, do not forget the words of Paul in his letter to the Philippians as he, in a short statement, speaks of looking to serve others:
Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
4 Let each of your look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.