Vignette One of Four
A cold rain was falling…
…as our Instructing Team loaded the vehicle early this particular morning. As I watched them ferrying food and gear, I thought about what an amazing thing it was that in spite of the absolutely dreary tone set by the conditions outside, Jon and Jesse were there to serve, there to shepherd a group of students towards growth as leaders, and there to put hands and feet to AML's mission of fostering and inspiring servant leadership.
Perhaps it struck me in such a way because as they departed in the wind and rain I was about to return to the lamplight of my desk and prepare to send out our monthly newsletter, answer emails, and work on curriculum for upcoming courses- all in a climate controlled office.
I can't help but think about the way our instructors in this moment exemplify an important principal of servant leadership... the readiness and ability to lead in foul weather. In this specific instance, I am referring to actual foul weather- wind, rain, chill. But beyond this instance, in the metaphorical sense, I am referring to leadership circumstances that are less than ideal... which covers such a wide range of circumstances. Foul weather circumstances can be found where social dynamics have deteriorated, where resources have become scarce, where unforeseen challenges surface quickly, where forces outside of your group collide with your group's process, and any number of the ways group dynamics can bend and twist into uncomfortable circumstances.
A servant leader is particularly shaped to be effective in these foul weather circumstances. Servant leaders view these situations as opportunities. Some leaders may find themselves being self conscious about the group's image and performance, fixated on controlling in times of foul weather. A servant leader, however, isn't there for their own sake. They are free to stand back and strategize about how best to utilize the circumstances for the benefit of the group's growth and maturity.
It is inevitable that in the life span of any group, foul weather seasons will occur. And it is important that the group's leadership, particularly in those times, has the genuine interest of others in their sights.
Each remaining week of 2018, we will be presenting a short vignette which illuminates the importance and impact of servant leadership. We hope these reflections are gifts that display the potential of great leadership. The narrative above is our first of four and is an excerpt from a blog post we published in May of 2017.
We would also like to invite you to give the gift of servant leadership throughout the end of this year. A great way to do this is by partnering with us here at AML. It will help us meet our year end financial goals- goals which allow us to most effectively strive towards our mission.
The rest of the series will be posted on our blog here.