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Essay About Service Above Self

In a society that revolves around packs, true lone wolves are rare nowadays. If you're single-minded and "lifed" as I am, you'll recognize these moments.

1. Working alone

On a project, other people just get in the way. None of your ideas are glossed over, and nobody yells at you for not doing any work. Sure, you may do all the work, but you're not doing it for the lazy bums you would have been assigned to work with.

2. Running without the pack

You'd much rather see a movie you like on your own than a stupid movie with your friends. There's really no point in going with them anyway, you don't talk, and you have to share the popcorn. Maybe there's an event on campus "everyone" is going to, but you wouldn't in a million years. And you don't. Because you simply don't want to.

3. Group punishments are the worst

Um, excuse me, I didn't do anything, so I shouldn't have to endure this? Who even thought these kinds of punishments were a good idea? I admit on occasion, I've been tempted to waltz out of the room. Hey, I never did anything wrong in the first place, it was those idiots in the corner over there!

4. Others' Opinions don't matter

Salad on a date? Absolutely not! You're getting that burger no matter what your date thinks. You came for food, and you're getting it. Maybe you want to wear sweatpants and a T-shirt to class when everyone on campus wears skinny jeans. You wear 'em anyway! (And besides, sweatpants have better pockets) You do what you want, and you don't care what others have to say about it.

5. Yet people are overly concerned

You're fine. You don't want to hang out simply because you don't want to be around people right now. You have friends, they're just not your number one priority. You just don't want to go to the party because for the hundredth time, you hate parties!

6. Community mentality

This social phenomenon is typically to blame for the above. It's the norm to be part of a group, and you're encouraged to contribute to said group you're in, or at least forced to be in. If not, you're suspicious. Something's obviously wrong with you, so you're encouraged even more to "be one with the group." Nah.

7. Solitude keeps you sane

People drive you crazy. Surely even those who like people can agree. Solitude allows you to be alone with your thoughts, and most of all, free of socializing or at least feeling obligated to socialize. Too much work.

8. Dating is hard

You're a distant and solitary soul, so finding someone you both deem good enough to sacrifice you precious time for, as well as respect your independence is tough. You value freedom, and yet it's too easy to get chained down when pursuing a relationship.

9. You know who you are and what you want

Without outside influence, you can be sure of yourself. You know what you want, whether it's in life or for the moment, and you pursue it, even when others may question it. It's your life, you do as you will with it.

“Service Above Self” is a statement that resonates with everyone who has ever been on the receiving end of the service. However, it has been my experience that the concepts of “Service Above Self” and “Servant Leadership” while often discussed, and always admired, are far too rarely practiced. It is precisely this shortcoming that accounts for many of the problems faced by our business leaders, but also by society as a whole. In today’s post I’ll share my thoughts on the value of becoming a true servant leader…

The sad reality is that human nature adversely affects our perspective in that service is often undermined by short-sighted self interest. What most people intuitively understand, but fail to keep at the forefront of their thinking, is that our personal success and fulfillment will be much more closely tied to how we help others than what we do for ourselves…While there are many motivating factors which underpin a leaders decisioning, nothing is intrinsically more pure, and more inspiring than the call to serve. The dedication and commitment required to be a true servant leader requires a level of personal sacrifice that can only be instilled by a passionate belief in a greater good…something beyond one’s self.

Let me provide you with a personal example…I just returned from Virginia where my son commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force on Saturday, and graduated from the University of Virginia on Sunday. My son is an exceptionally bright and talented individual who had every option under the sun available to him upon graduation. Rather than head off to Wall Street or to a large consulting firm, he and his fellow cadets chose to serve. They were not cajoled or coerced, but rather they felt a calling to serve as officers in the US military leading other men and women of service.

It is precisely their commitment, attention to detail, discipline, service above self, honor, integrity, perseverance, the ability to both lead and follow, to execute with precision, and the ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome that distinguish them from those that seek personal glory over service. My son and his friends are just one example (but a good one) of what character and integrity when combined with a servant’s heart can accomplish.

The characteristics mentioned above will allow you to inspire and lead with a focus and commitment not present in DNA of those leaders who don’t possess a servant’s heart. It is the ability to stay mentally focused on achieving the mission at hand through service, regardless of circumstances, that will help you take your organization to that next level.

There are many so-called management gurus in today’s politically correct world who would take great exception to what I’m putting forth in today’s post. They would tell you that the classic strong leadership traits that define our nation’s best military leaders are outdated and they don’t display a proper amount of empathy and compassion. However, I’m here to tell you that strength and compassion are not mutually exclusive terms rather the strongest leaders are in fact the most compassionate leaders. When I was in the service my troops slept before I did, they ate before I did, and they were cared for before I was. A leader’s greatest responsibility is not for his/her own glory, but it is for the well being of those whose care has been entrusted to them.

A warrior’s heart, and the spirit of a servant leader have served my family well in both business and life in general. It is the mental agility, a fierce determination, a never say die attitude, and placing other’s interests above our own that has carried us through the best of times and the worst of times. My father was a Marine before he was an attorney, I served in the Army before I entered the business world, and well, I’m sure you can tell how proud I am of my son’s choice to serve in the Air Force. While not all great business leaders have served in the military, those of you who possess the spirit of a servant leader understand the advantages you derive from a having a servant’s state of mind.

I strongly recommend to all business leaders that they learn to develop a command presence, and lead from a committed and passionate position of strength through service. The word “passion” comes from a Latin root which means quite literally to suffer. If you’re passionate about something it means you care so much that it hurts Refusing to surrender, having the ability to make the tough decision, the needed sacrifice, and the focus to place fiduciary obligations above your self interest will allow your company to continue taking ground and will keep the competitive advantage on the side of your enterprise. Remember that the world does not revolve around you, but what you can do for others…