After a early morning wake up call from my 96 year old Dad telling me he had spilled some coffee grinds on his carpet and he couldn’t bend down to clean it up, I jumped out of bed, put my T-shirt,shorts and a ball cap on and rushed over to Westminster Towers knowing that if I didn’t hurry over to get this cleaned up , I would probably get a follow up call that might have a different tone and message.
On my way over thinking selfishly about my one day to get a few hours of extra sleep, I realized how something so simple in my life was a much bigger deal in someone’s else’s life.
After entering his room I noticed a big pile of coffee grinds on his carpet ( yes I know carpet should never be in a kitchen floor ) I started to pick up the grinds with my bare hands and put them in his trash can. His small vacuum cleaner’s batteries did not work so it was quite a task to get these small grinds removed from the carpet.
Fixed my Dad a cup of coffee and sat down and had a 2 hour conversation with him about every member of our family and his concerns in life. Some of the stories I’ve heard before but he enjoys telling them so I listened quietly watching his expressions as he told them.
His love for his children, grandchildren to this day simply amazes me and how at 96 years of age his unconditional love for each of them is as powerful as it’s ever been.
So after a 2 hour conversation and telling him good bye,I started my walk down the stairs from the 4th floor and simply froze and thanked the Good Lord for my early morning wake up call and how humility can put life in perspective.
It’s not about us , it’s about being available and serving others as Christ has commissioned us.
As I grumbled about my extra sleep this morning , and being woke up by such a simple task, God has a way of telling and teaching us what’s really important in life. I will never get those 2 wonderful hours back with my Dad and I’m truly grateful for that time we spent together
We all have the same hours in a day. You never know what the next minute holds, count your blessings daily.
Doug Sumwalt AKA “Pistol”
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” –Leonardo da Vinci
- “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” –Booker T. Washington
- “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” –Jamie Paolinetti
Leaders Leading Leaders
Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term “servant leadership” in the modern corporate setting when he wrote these famous words in his legendary essay The Servant as Leader, published in 1970. He said:
The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.
Back to the Quote (and Why It’s So Important)
Looking at the quote again, notice that Greenleaf said, “It begins with the natural feeling that … ” In other words, it comes from within–from deep inside you, which is ingrained in your whole being. As a leader adapts a mindset to “serve first,” “conscious choice” kicks in. It’s intentional and actionable to “aspire to lead” in this manner.
This leadership approach is designed for both head and heart to be in the game. And this is partly the reason why so many never attempt it, or try and fail miserably at servant leadership. It’s leadership by character, and not every person is equipped to meet the high expectations that servant leadership demands.
Think about it: “The servant-leader is servant first.”
When you serve first, it’s for the other person’s benefit. It requires the best leaders to focus their attention away from themselves and put the spotlight on their employees — growing and empowering them first. Greenleaf noticed that these leaders got the best out of their employees; they were more motivated, creative, and productive and that led to great business results.
The Doormat Perception
There’s so much tension in the paradox of the term “servant leadership.” The words servant and leader are usually thought of as being opposites. And the term is tremendously counterintuitive in today’s command-and-control leadership structures, which wrongly perceive servant leaders as doormats.
But in reality, servant leaders lead with authority, but they do so by supporting the employees from the bottom up. They demand excellence and hold employees accountable for success and high performance. They can be tough…