Yesterday I realized that I’m getting old. At least it appears I’m at that place now that I can say whatever I want and it’s received as wisdom. When I was younger and said what I wanted, it really didn’t carry any wisdom with it, let alone generate any respect. So there is something about increasing years and the added value of wisdom.
I know wisdom doesn’t always appear brightly lit on some people as they age. Wisdom comes with experience, good and bad, and successful evaluation and management of those experiences. If anything, I feel like I’ve got too much to learn and not enough time to get it.
Every leader needs to move into leadership with a defined leadership philosophy. When decisions are difficult, this philosophy will serve as a mission guiding your leadership skills much like the banks of a river guides the river in times of drought and in times of flood.
The best advice I could ever give success-driven leaders is to choose the servant leadership model. Christ emulated it, it focuses efforts on organizational mission rather than personal mission, and it leads the organization to be the most effective it can possibly be with failure-prone humans.
Yesterday I yelled at our congregation from the pulpit. I was as surprised by it as they were. I’ve never done that before. I was even more surprised with how well they received it—they were even complementary. Age and conscious application of wisdom enabled that risky platform I stood on yesterday. They invested their trust in me and so what I say has value to them.
Servant leadership got me there by serving them with leadership focused on the mission of the church and their best interests. Servant leadership works well, for old and young alike.