What is the recipe for service leadership? If we are looking to concoct a blend of leadership that has a unique flavor, it will be helpful to look at some of the ingredients that go into this. Can you identify how each of these ingredients can then be steeped in service?
Integrity. This is the cornerstone of any true leadership blend. Integrity is based in being honest with yourself and with others and includes truthfulness, authenticity and transparency.
Here is a nice definition from Dr. Peter Koestenbaum, executive leadership coach and founder of Koestenbaum Institute, in his book, Leadership, New and Revised: The Inner Side of Greatness:
“Your identity is your integrity, not your wealth or your skills, and only that which tarnishes you integrity does any significant harm to you. Your integrity is your decision to abide by the principles of equality, your decision to respect the dignity of all human beings (yours included), your decision to be transparent in your relationships, your decision to respect the liberty of others and of yourself.”
Courage. In a strong blend of leadership we also find the ingredient of courage. This means confronting fears within, as well as in the external world. It also means having the courage to be yourself and make decisions in line with your own integrity, then being willing to be accountable for these decisions. Courage allows us to be open-minded to other people’s way of life and to listen openly.
Again, a great quote from Peter Koestenbaum, Leadership, New and Revised: The Inner Side of Greatness: “Courage is not to conquer others but to conquer oneself.”
Accountability. When we take personal accountability for our actions and decisions, this allows us to remain in the driver seat of our life and be available to others. Personal accountability requires integrity and courage. Take ownership of all of your actions and decisions. Be willing to accept responsibility for the successes, as well as the failures, in everything you do.
“Deciding that I have created the world around me—and therefore I am the one to fix it—is the ultimate act of accountability.” –Peter Block and Peter Koestenbaum, Freedom and Accountability at Work
Passion. Find your passion. Why do you do what you do? Find your “Why”. With passion, the ordinary can become extraordinary. Never forget the contributions you make.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” –Howard Thurman
What other ingredients go into your personal blend of leadership steeped in service?