The epitome of leadership is to be able to serve those who have either chosen to follow or must follow us in our capacity as organizational leaders. In command, that adds additional weight and authority to accomplish something greater while taking care of those in our charge. The essence of command lies in our ability to serve on multiple levels and (attempt to) push our leadership for our people beyond the “have to” and into the “want to” perspectives of followership. Servant leadership can take us there by showing we care about more than ourselves and that we’re doing it to achieve a greater good for our mission, organization, and the people who accomplish that mission and make up that organization.
“A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives.” (Jackie Robinson)
A heart for service occurs at many levels. By nature, we must serve our organizations and leaders in the pursuit of the vision and mission of those organizations. We can serve beyond our organization by achieving the purpose of that organization. But most importantly, we can serve those we work with from differing perspectives as leaders, supervisors, subordinates, followers, peers, or mentors. Command consolidates all of those perspectives while tailoring our actions and decisions to the service of the greater good for both our people and our mission. In that role, we must daily ask ourselves what have we done for our organization, our people, ourselves, and our country today?
“There is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” (Ronald Reagan; Harry Truman)
To meet our challenge of achieving the mission, we serve ourselves in our daily efforts to become tactically proficient and experts at everything we are responsible for. We serve our peers and teams by doing all we can to increase their tactical proficiency and job expertise. We serve those in charge through development, mentoring, training, and education to ensure growth. We serve those whose charge we fall within by striving for the vision they set out, and engaging when that path is unclear. We serve our organizations with every effort to do our jobs while seeking improvements, efficiencies, and continuity to sustain where we work. We serve our country by being ready to do what we train for and finding ways to do it better, then bringing those skills to bear when and where needed. In command, we serve by accomplishing that cycle of service beyond ourselves to ensure everyone in our charge is ready to do the same. Make them ready. Grow their skills. Then watch them exceed our expectations. If we serve that greater purpose in everything we do, we can truly lead…