Leadership and servitude seemed to have appeared irreconcilable with each other for a long time. To gain more insight into this paradox and clarify the intertwinement of both concepts, the metaphor of communicating vessels proves useful. While at first glance the two domains of service and leadership seem separate, below the surface they form a twoness. Due to our lack of understanding of this interconnectiveness, we take on a predominantly serving or leading role, steered by personality-induced preferences. This (subconscious) choice leads however to the exaggeration of the one and therewith subjection of its complementary, force. Consequently both forces become a caricature of themselves. Leadership becomes directive and dominant, while servitude turns into pampering or an overly pliant attitude.
The consequence of this imbalance is polarisation. Both forces become opposed since the one pole invokes the other. Despite hard work and good intentions, you are creating your own headwind and unintentionally become the (co-)creator of resistance, inefficiency and stagnation. Whereas a synthesis of the two leads to powerful, compassionate and inspiring leadership. A grateful role which in current times where collaboration is emphasized, requires insight into individual and team development as well as a leadership style that enables such development.
In other words, what follows from this vision is that knowledge of our own personality, and our subconscious motives and inclinations is a prerequisite to becoming a servant leader. Knowledge of this kind enables us to balance leadership and servitude inside ourselves and in interaction with others. And to make conscious, positive choices that help develop and align our basic disposition, behaviour and skills with our intention to connect to a greater good.
What this might entail you can read in the profile of a servant leader. Whilst the page ‘yield’ will give you a good idea of the possible benefits of servant leadership for yourself and your environment.