We would like to express our gratitude for the pleasant cooperation with you and the knowledge and insights you have brought us. “Find yourself in the service of others”, Gandhi once said. He was right. We became a better version of ourselves thanks to people like you.
We are also hopeful since the beneficial trend of an attitude of service seems to be continuing. This makes a lot of sense given its yields. Combined with leadership, servitude fosters rapid development of individuals and organizations. This so called servant leadership purposely interweaves ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of collaboration ensuring a bundling of everyone’s qualities. A setting in which people are happy to cooperate effectively in achieving collective goals. That not all organizations are committed to servant leadership, we believe is due to unfamiliarity or prejudice with its meaning.
To tackle the most common misperception right away: servant leaders are no softies. This inaccurate image seems to have been created by managers guided by a one-tracked commitment to servitude, resulting in lack of clarity and direction. An unwanted imbalance. Just as undesirable as leaders who underestimate the need for servitude. Authoritarian behavior is its unpleasant and ineffective consequence.
The art lies in finding the middle ground; in synthesizing the two virtues. That is where servant leadership finds its transformative power.
Even when you are not a manager this message still applies. Because you too will want to find balance between taking the lead and being supportive when exercising your role as colleague, coach or parent.
So on to the fertile balance of servitude and leadership! And if we may be of help to you in 2018, we will do so wholeheartedly.
A pleasure to see you again, Tineke and Gaitske