I am writing a new article for Municipal World magazine. The topic is servant leadership.
What I am finding with many of these topics I write on is that they are applicable in many other areas. I have written extensively on the merits of Priority Based Budgeting for a municipality. Well, the principles in that methodology apply equally in a private company, a non-profit organization, a family or an individual. What do you wish to accomplish? What are you currently doing with your time/effort/resources? How is what you are currently doing furthering that which you want to do? Find ways to maximize your time/effort/resources toward achieving those things you wish to do.
Servant leadership is the same. It applies very well in a municipal setting. Simply put, municipalities should be hiring staff who embrace the idea that they are servants of the public. Serving others, whether that be citizens or other staff, should drive their decision making and their efforts to improve. They should be motivated by serving others. It should give them joy and fulfillment.
Think about servant leadership in the context of being a parent or a spouse. You are most definitely serving others. Perhaps this is a topic of many conversations with your kids or spouse? Who is serving who more? If you embrace the fact that this is mutual I think you should be able to get excited about being a servant. You are sharing your gifts, you are sharing your knowledge.
Booker T. Washington, an advisor to many American presidents and leader of the African-American community in the late 1800s to early 1900s, stated "If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up". Truer words have not been spoken. Think of a time when you taught your kids a new skill or shared a piece of wisdom with your spouse and they clearly recognized the effort you made. Is there a better feeling than that happiness that comes with serving someone else and all feel the joy together?