I have been faced with an interesting decision that is challenging me in many different ways. The basis of this is servant leadership and what it comes down to is this where can I serve the community that I live in the most. I have talked about running for president, I have actually submitted my application and have started to gain some support. BUT here is the dilemma what if there is someone I believe in my heart is a 'better' candidate maybe not right now but with their character and such will be the better candidate for the job? It is an interesting idea that I am trying to work through and understand. I felt that I should run based upon my motives, my intentions and what I wanted to accomplish overall but does that mean I have to be a certain position to accomplish those. I made it a goal of mine that I was going to run for TWUSA president as I talked about in my goal post (Goals) and the deeper goal that I describe was that I wanted to serve TWU and I did not want to live with any regrets. Never again do I want to look back and think I should have done this, I should have done that but would this be a scenario that I could look at and say I am glad I did that? Before you continue to read this please read my blog post about intentions because it will allow you to understand what my thoughts are and what I am thinking through right now.
First, what is a student leader...
The term "servant-leadership" first became popularized by the book, Servant As Leader, written by Robert Greenleaf in 1970. Greenleaf described servant-leadership as:
The servant-leader is servant first servant... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. He or she is sharply different from the person who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. For such it will be a later choice to serve after leadership is established. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.
The difference manifest itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer , is: do those served grow as persons;do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?
- Robert Greenleaf
This is the part that is just shaking me up is really 100% because I said to everyone my intentions are pure and they still are but I started to feel this temptation that I should run because wouldn't it be great to be the 'president'? After the meeting I went up to this friend of mine, someone I look up to and some I attempt to live like and said that I would not run against him because I believed he would do a better job. Now it is time to put my action where my words are. My temptation is to continue to run and just let my pride and competitive side take control but I have spent this last month trying to fix my life and I am not going to stop here.
If I want to call myself a servant-leader then I sure as HELL cannot go against what I have said. A servant is someone who wants to serve and wants to serve first. This quote rattles my bones because listen to the words it is saying this 'leader' is SHARPLY DIFFERENT from the other person. This person is servant first instead of leader first. I preached to you guys and to everyone that the students were my ultimate goal and purpose for wanting to run and I need to stand behind that don't I? Please anyone who is reading this affirm me or tell me I am a idiot because I want to make sure I am doing right before my friends, family and you guys. Student leadership at this school means the absolute world to me I know no other life than service giving back. I stand behind the importance of building servant leadership and will stand behind it till the day I die. People are and should always be the most important reason we run for leadership. If that is not your intention it is better to back out now and re-evaluate your life. And leadership position that is especially one of service needs to be a servant leadership position.
If anyone is reading this I encourage everyone to apply for student leadership position, do it! Just make sure your first intention is serving the people instead of adding to your resume. Someone this weak questioned my intention saying I just wanted to add this title to my resume. I turned to them and said this 'Yes, I want this title because when I own my own business that is ultimately what is going to define me'. I am going to walk into a business I want to do business with and say this 'oh you should hire me because I was the TWUSA president'. A title does not define who you are and should never define who you are. I repeat a title DOES NOT DEFINE WHO YOU ARE. I know that might be a shock to some people but it is true a title does not make you any better then the next person. I cannot help but think of this YouTube video where he is talking about business cards and at the 45 second mark he makes these remarks about titles. He says "Wow I know companies that make 10,000$ a year and the guy is a CEO". That is about how highly I think of titles sometime that we fixate ourselves around them. Yes there is some stuff that comes along with titles. It allows you to build contacts, to makes some changes and all this BUT what keeps you there and what keep the respect of the people around you is who YOU are not what your title is. Respect is something to be gained not given to someone in title. Therefore go out and earn the respect of the people around you by what you do.
Here is the 'lesson' for today, and the one I am learning is a title does not define who you are as a character just because I may not be president does not mean I cannot make a difference. Also just because I might become president it does not mean that, that should define me or that I should demand the respect of people. You have to earn the respect of the people around you by one simple thing saying what you are going to do and doing exactly what you say. People will respect the person more who says he cannot do something then the person who promise to do something and does not deliver. Lastly evaluate your heart at all times and understand your intentions for your actions. A few years ago I would never caught that temptation in my intentions, a few months ago there would have been a chance and right now it was still difficult but I am glad I could see that those competitive thoughts were passing through my mind instead of my original goal. Serve the students, serve the community and build it up. I have no finalize my decision because the other person has not finalize his but when he does I intend on quickly standing where I can best serve. I truly believe it would be better to serve under someone else if that means the students could be better served overall.
Goodbye for now,