Servant Leadership: It Comes From the Inside

by | Aug 25, 2016 | Charisma Archive

Discover Extraordinary Service

Excerpt from chapter 3 of Inside Out

The dictionary defines trait as “a distinguishing quality or characteristic as of personality.”1 Visual Thesaurus defines it as “a distinguishing feature of your personal nature.” 2 If you were to type t-r-a-i-t into Visual Thesaurus, you would see dozens of descriptive words. Among them: emotionless, frivolousness, distrustfulness, thoughtlessness, compulsiveness, and many other not-so-positive descriptions of human nature.

But you would also find many positive words: humbleness, resoluteness, trustworthiness, thoughtfulness, faithfulness, and other positive descriptions of our natures. Servant leaders invariably exhibit humanity’s most positive traits. They build their lives around those traits, and they put the person they are into action. Their authenticity, being true to who they are, exists no matter what role they take.3

There’s no way we could possibly list all the traits of an effective servant leader. Some of them are as simple as “listening.” But here are the fifteen traits we believe are the most vital to any servant who wants to lead others toward positive change.

  • They have a clear vision.
  • They have absolute values.
  • They are faithful.
  • They are accepting.
  • They are loyal.
  • They are humble.
  • They have integrity.
  • They are compassionate.
  • They are encouragers. They support one another.
  • They are generous.
  • They honor and respect one another. They value the contributions of others.
  • They mentor one another.
  • They are flexible.
  • They “bounce back”—they are resilient, and they help others to bounce back.
  • They are selfless. They are willing to give it their all.

You probably expected us to include “They love others” on our list. The fact is, we believe most of the traits we’ve listed are key manifestations of love: faithfulness, acceptance, compassion, encouragement, generosity, and selflessness among them. Even integrity, humility, mentoring, accountability, and resilience can be part of the overall package we call love.

You might also have expected us to include skills, abilities, or talents somewhere in the list. But skills, abilities, and talents are different from traits. We refer to these three things as gifts. It’s your job to unwrap them.

You may have the ability to teach—the gift of teaching—but if you aren’t teaching, you aren’t serving others with that ability. You may be a skilled carpenter, mechanic, or pilot, but if you’re not building to serve others, doing car repairs for nothing more than money, or flying a plane without providing acts of service to others, you aren’t using your gifts. Your traits are what empower you to apply your gifts . . . make them more significant by serving others.

Traits may be inherent in some individuals, or they may be the outcome of environment—good parents or schools, for example. For the most part, though, we believe they are cultivated out of personal desire. If we want to be generous, we’ll find a way. If we want to encourage others, we’ll make it happen. If we want to mentor others, we’ll take the time.

Traits are the motivation behind the gifts—behind the skills, abilities, and talents, behind the behaviors and attitudes generally present in all servant leaders.4

This article is based on chapter three of the new book Inside Out by Rich and Robyn Wilkerson. © 2015 Rich and Robyn Wilkerson. All rights reserved.

1 Michael Agnes and David B. Guralnik, Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Cleveland: Wiley Publishers, 2007).
2 Virtual thesaurus.
3 James A. Autry, The Servant Leader (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2001).
4 Larry W. Boone and Sanya Makhani, “Five Necessary Attitudes of a Servant Leader,” Review of Business 33, no. 2 (Winter 2012): 83-96.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]