Self serving leaders are usually self serving way before they become leaders and you can definitely find servant leaders serving way before they are leading. Now, that doesn’t mean that a self serving person can’t learn to become a person that values serving others over themselves. Also, that doesn’t mean a servant leader cant’ have moments of being a self serving leader. As a leader, you have a choice to either serve others or yourself and if we are not proactive in checking our motives concerning the things we do and the decisions we make, those who are servant leaders or those who are pursuing servant leadership can easily have moments of being self serving. There are a number of self serving leaders in the bible. There are also leaders in the bible who had a heart for serving the people but allowed unchecked motives to run wild and ended up having moments of being self serving. King David of the bible, slept with another man’s wife and got her pregnant and then had him strategically killed to cover up what he had done (2 Samuel 11:1-27). Now, maybe you’ve never done anything that bad but I can easily look to times when I was definitely being self serving. We must remember that God places no value on sin. God views it all the same. There’s an old saying that I’ve seen proven true over time: “If a person will lie, they will cheat and if they will cheat, they will steal” . Sin, as well as being self serving, is progressive and leads to destruction (James 1:14-15).
Now, I’m not saying being self serving is completely wrong. It’s the motive that corrupts the act of being self serving.
There are a lot of verses and stories in the bible that come to mind when I think of self serving leadership. There was one king who threw a man into a den of lions because he wouldn’t stop praying to God (Daniel 6:1-24). Another king threw three guys into a furnace because they wouldn’t worship him (Daniel 3:1-30). Even if you look in the new testament you can see a theme with the religious leaders of the day. They were so caught up with leading and the authority they had over people that they couldn’t even see that the Messiah had come. They ended up oppressing the people just like every other self serving king/leader. Here’s list of a few things that you want to watch out for concerning self serving leadership:
- Value the title more than the duties that come with the title.
- Lead for their own benefit.
- Have an unhealthy need to be seen and heard.
- Abuse their authority.
- Instead of doing what’s best for everyone, they do what’s best for themselves.
- Will manipulate situations and people for their own purpose.
- Values the credit given over the results produced.
- Will ultimately do whatever it takes to keep the leadership role they’ve been given.
Matthew 20:25-26 25Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, Christ is saying that there is a system in culture that says those who are leaders should have and deserve the glory , honor and praise from those that serve them. There is a system in culture that says that the people the leader oversee are there for the leader and not the other way around. Then He says but that’s not the way it is for you. You must see it differently than the world’s culture. “Those that lead in my kingdom will be the greatest servant.” Here are a few things servant leaders value and do:
- Servant leaders understand it’s not about them but it’s about the people they serve.
- Servant leaders are more interested in the needs of those they serve than their own. I’m not talking about neglecting their own needs for the sake of others. I’m talking about making choices for the betterment of others whether they receive credit for it or not.
- Servant leaders count it as a privilege to lead others and not a right based on their title.
- Servant leaders value the results produced more than the credit given.
- Servant leaders value the responsibility of the title given more than the title itself.
- Servant leaders are life long learners.
- Servant leaders value doing what’s right even if no ones paying attention.
- Servant leaders understand that any notoriety given is to be used to further the cause and not your career.
- Servant leaders are disturbed by injustice.
- Servant leaders look for ways to serve
Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. If our pursuit is be like Chrsit in leadershipthen our pursuit is to simply be the greatest servant ever no matter .
What are some other attributes of a servant leader?
hope it helps