Malankara World

General Interest Reading

Servant Leadership: The Parable of Brother Leo

by Michael Josephson, www.charactercounts.org

A legend tells of a French monastery known throughout Europe for the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately, they began to bicker about who should do various chores.

On the third day they met another monk going to the monastery, and he joined them. This monk never complained or shirked a duty, and whenever the others would fight over a chore, he would gracefully volunteer and do it himself. By the last day, the others were following his example, and from then on they worked together smoothly.

When they reached the monastery and asked to see Brother Leo, the man who greeted them laughed. "But our brother is among you!" And he pointed to the fellow who had joined them.

Today, many people seek leadership positions, not so much for what they can do for others but for what the position can do for them: status, connections, perks, advantages. They do service as an investment, a way to build an impressive resume.

The parable about Brother Leo teaches another model of leadership, where leaders are preoccupied with serving rather than being followed, with giving rather than getting, with doing rather than demanding. Leadership based on example, not command. This is called servant leadership.

See Also:

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6 Managerial Styles You Need to Lead Effectively
Far too many managers are “one-trick-ponies.” Early in their careers they had success with one management style and now use it regardless of the situation. The result: They lack the skills necessary to handle the complexities of managing people.

3 Ways to Manage Clashing Leadership Styles
While managing the tension can be challenging, working with someone who has a different approach than you, can often yield innovation and creativity. Here are three ways to make the most of differing styles.

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