Servant Leadership Advocate & Coach
DIRECTION. VALUES. COMPETENCE. SPIRIT.
I believe Servant Leadership—often referenced but rarely understood—is a natural answer to many of the challenges facing aspiring, new, and disillusioned leaders alike. Practiced carefully and consistently, it can heighten focus, increase clarity, improve decision-making, decrease stress, and reignite the self-confidence that comes with a reestablished sense of purpose.
I don’t believe servant leadership is the paradox some claim it to be.
Empowering each individual member of your team to become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous and more authentically themselves simultaneously makes your team—and its leader—more successful.
When your actions serve and support the values and goals of those you seek to lead, you speak with the sort of authority no title can give.
There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. The other is to walk round the whole world till we come back to the same place.
— G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
LEADERSHIP IS MORE THAN A SKILL OR JOB.
Some part of me, just like some part of you, has always understood that leadership is more than a skill or a job; that it must be a meaningful lifestyle to have any real impact; and that the ability to influence others, to be authentic, must not depend simply on social charisma, IQ or socioeconomic status.
But I had no idea why the concept was important to me or what to do with it. I assumed—rightly—that I had much to learn.
I set off with no clear goal or direction to learn anything and everything I could. I taught in China and studied in Israel. I lived outdoors and in cities all over America. I worked in non-profit and for-profit settings. I served as a teacher, counselor, manager, director and entrepreneur.
Like so many before me, I woke up one day to find that I was adrift, lost among competing ideologies and trying aimlessly to imitate personalities and qualities that were foreign to me. I had no purpose and had forgotten what I set out to find.
WE ALL FIND OURSELVES ADRIFT AT SOME POINT.
We call these moments crises because they serve as reminders that our lives are at stake in our choices.
We're confronted, time and again, with the same question:
WHAT DO I WANT MY LIFE TO MEAN?
My transition to coaching was natural—I've spent most of my career counseling or teaching in some capacity or another. While coaching is different, the skills it requires are not dissimilar.
As I began taking on clients and getting referrals, I was not surprised to find that many of the professionals with whom I was working were struggling with the same experience I had: a lack of purpose—and a resulting lack of fulfillment—in their work and in their lives.
What did surprise me is how many of them, when asked about their vision for their lives, talked about self-sacrifice and making a difference for those in need. Some wanted their lives to have grand meaning, others to meaningfully impact their families, colleagues and communities. But I have yet to work with a single client whose only goal is success in the traditional sense: unbounded wealth and the life of ease that supposedly comes with it.
THIS IS WHY I COACH SERVANT LEADERSHIP.
Most people don't think of leadership this way, but when we're at our best as individuals—when we're at our most creative, when we begin to self-actualize and step into our most genuine selves—we are leading.
WE ARE TRANSFORMING THE LIVES OF OTHERS IN WAYS NO ONE ELSE CAN.
How often do you see a man who, in being himself, can help you find and be yourself; in whom you can detect no deviousness at all?
The Servant as Leader