May I Wash Your Feet – March 2007
By Sean Wolfington
Leadership is not a position, but a choice. Each of us has the ability to influence others. Leadership is the choice to utilize one’s abilities to influence the thoughts and actions of others in order to motivate progression from existing circumstances to a higher standard.
Most often, we assume that progress is measured in tangible results, such as increased sales, or higher profits. These are important byproducts of good leadership, but the greatest measure of a true leader is the level of transformation that takes place interiorly within the individuals he or she is influencing. Those individuals in leadership roles who genuinely care about the well-being of their fellow colleagues are leading to serve. On the other hand, there are individuals who reach out to others by simply sharing their gifts and thus, by virtue, are serving to lead.
The concept of servant leadership dates back over 2,000 years to the time of Jesus. On the night before He died, Jesus took a towel, knelt before His disciples and washed their feet. He then instructed them that they must do the same for each other. In other words, they were taught to first seek to serve each other in order to become true leaders. Wikepedia.com adds the following with regard to servant leadership: “It differs from other leadership approaches by eschewing the common top-down hierarchical style, and instead emphasizing collaboration, trust, empathy and the ethical use of power.
At heart, the individual is a servant first, making the conscious decision to lead; his drive is to lead because he wants to serve better, not because he desires increased power. The objective is to enhance the growth of individuals in the organization and increase teamwork and personal involvement.” Just imagine the impact that servant leadership could make throughout your dealership. Colleagues thriving not only on serving each other, but serving the customer as well.
We are not all born with extraordinary talents that catapult us into leadership positions, but we are all born with the ability to serve one another. We live in a world of perpetual interconnection, especially in the retail automotive industry where innovation thrusts us into the dynamic information transport called Internet marketing. Serving each other- by doing whatever we can, whenever we can, however we can – within our own circle of colleagues is enough to make a difference. As more and more people are touched and affected by the progression of the concept, it will spread further and deeper, reaching more and more recipients who will be given the gift of understanding.
As we come to more fully understand the power of love and the need to serve those people who have been placed in our lives, may we have the moral courage to live a life that exemplifies the expression, “May I wash your feet?”
Sean Wolfington is the general manager of BZResults.com, an ADP Company. He can be contacted at 866.802.5753, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.