What Inspires a Leader to lead? My wife and I have been blessed to be acquainted with many world leaders and influential people. We have known benevolent foreign presidents that leads their people with a kind heart. We have know industry giants that have build great wealth by inspiring others to greatness. We have seen spiritual leaders that have a vision and can direct and define and entire culture. Then there is the uncommon leader that draws people to themselves and motivates them out of service to them.
I remember the very first time I met one of my many mentors I will call “Jack”, he was serving me. I was giving a speech near Palm Springs California and he came to hear me. It was not connected with his business and he only knew me as an author but he came anyway. After my speech we had questions and answer and this man stood up to let a room full of strangers know how much my book “The Rope” had done for him and his business. He was selling my books to this audience for me. He did not have to do that, he was going to get nothing out of doing it but he did it because he had the heart of a servant. That is the key of real success, developing the heart of a servant.
A few months later I was asked to speak at a function of “Jack’s” organization and meet his business partner “David” and their other leaders. It was at this meeting that I began to speculate on the characteristics of leadership. What made these guys go? What compiled them to continue long after they have reached every economical goal, every level of social prestige and the most satisfying lifestyle imaginable?
The answer clarified the evening before the main event began. “Jack” and “David” gathered with all their leaders behind the stage. They did not gather to agree on a strategy to increase their profits. They did not gather to determine how many people showed up to support them. They gathered to have prayer and to ask comfort over those seeking answers to the personal problems weighing them down.
As we stood there in a circle with both male and female leaders, I began to think about the characteristics’ of a successful person.You must have these characteristics long before you become successful because they must lead you like a beacon in the night. Backstage that evening I felt each one of those leaders would have rejoiced if someone from the audience had exploded their business to greater heights than anyone back stage. They would rejoice at the success of others.
I then had a moment to set down with “David” before I went on stage. Here is a man successful before coming to into this business. His motivation was not to provide more beautiful things for his wife, he understood there was nothing he could give her more beautiful than she already was. He was not trying to make more friends his level, of respect had guaranteed many friends. He was not trying to sell a few more products so he could be the biggest badness man in the business. Any conversation you had with “David” would leave you with an understanding of success. Success comes from serving others.
It does not matter if you are a surgeon ”David” or a migrant worker like “Jack”, the heart of a servant brought them successes of extraordinary levels.