Servant-leadership-remedy for politics of desperation in Nigeria – Part 3
Servant leadership is servant-hood in leading people. It implies call and readiness to serve the people and to serve God above all else. It is expected of servants to be found faithful, contented and with high ethical principles.
Here are some key qualities of servant leaders:
Service: A servant leader is primarily motivated by the desire to render service. Natural dissatisfaction with the status quo is the source of inspiration to seek position of leadership, and burning desire for positive change is the driving force. Leadership is nothing but opportunity to serve.
Sacrifice/Self-denial: A servant leader is remarked for selflessness in everything. He does not serve or seek position of leadership because of the benefits of the office.
Therefore, he is ever willing to make sacrifices and to deny himself comfort in order to make things work. He goes the extra mile on behalf of his subjects and does not set standards for others that he is not willing to be subject to. He is more concerned about what he can add to the system than what he can take from it. Like Nehemiah of old, he could forfeit his rights for the sake of the people.
Suffering: A servant leader is not a fair weather servant, who serves only when service is cheap, fun, appreciated, rewarding and results in popularity. He is rather ready to serve even when service means suffering righteously, when standing for what is right means standing alone, share in the common life of the people and not live in affluence while his subjects wallow in abject poverty.
Humility: Humility is the hallmark of servant leaders character traits. Servant leaders do not let the power and glory of office inflict them with pride. They are able to maintain healthy relationship with the people, and receive feedback.
In humility, they are open to counsel, and when they make mistakes, they admit. Without humility, leaders become despots and tyrants. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who are humble.
Passion for improvement: When the situation of the people is not changing for the better, servant leaders are dissatisfied. They go the extra mile to bring about positive changes and never rests until they have delivered on their promises.
Accountability: Servant leaders are accountable to the people. They do not waste public resources or steal and divert funds meant for projects. Contracts are awarded through due process, and not indirectly to oneself, family and friends.
Integrity: Servant leaders are credible and trustworthy people, who are bound by their words and promises. They are honest in both private and public dealings.
Law-abiding: Servant leaders are not above the laws of the land. They are law abiding. Their activities or leadership are subject to the provisions of the law. They do not pervert justice to their own favour, but willingly submit to the rule of law, even when it is against them and their political ambitions.
Impartial: Servant leaders are known for their impartiality in dealing with their subjects. They treat everyone equally and on merits, without any form of favouritism based on language, ethnic, religious or political affiliations. Fairness and justice for all is their hallmark. Their firm stand against tribalism and nepotism makes them a unifying factor for the people.
Contentment: A servant leader lives a life of contentment with what God has provided. He is not greedy for filthy lucre and does not abuse his office to enrich himself with public funds. He is prudent with the management of available resources, and does not indulge in extravagant living.
Disciplined: Servant leaders are not involved with riotous living and do not act rashly. They are self-controlled and disciplined in their lives and in the discharge of the responsibilities of public office.
The Most Rev’d Dr Nicholas D. Okoh is the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Chairman of the Ibru Centre Board of Directors
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