3 Steps to Becoming a Selfless Leader

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I was privileged to contribute a chapter to the book "The Selfless Leader," available at no cost here. Rather than toot my horn as one of the contributors, I'd rather point you to the words of the editor, Scott Rodin of the Steward's Journey, who blogs here.

"Perhaps the best way I can try to define a Selfless Leader is to contrast it with its opposite. Could we say that the converse of a self-less leader is a self-more leader? Put another way, does becoming a selfless leader require us to set aside our desires to want more of our self as the focus of our leadership?

"… The first step to becoming a self-less leader is to acknowledge our self-more tendencies. And further, to identify the places in our current leadership style where they have taken root.

"… The second step, I would suggest, is embracing a steward’s view of our leadership role. The alternative is to lead as if we owned our position, our organization, our people and our strategies. This may sound harsh, but take time to examine your attitudes toward these things and see if there isn’t some vestige of an owner’s approach to each. Owner leaders are self-more leaders. They have to be because they tie their self-worth to their jobs and seek self-affirmation through vocational success.

"… The third step is best expressed by a favorite saying of mine, “Great leadership is not about who you are leading, but who is leading you.” In order to become self-less, something or someone needs to take the center spot that we have vacated by setting aside our desire to occupy it....For that reason, developing an increasingly intimate relationship with God becomes the selfless leader's highest priority.

"… We are surrounded by self more leaders… In our culture, it is very difficult to be self-less in positions of leadership, influence and authority. Yet that is our calling and highest privilege."


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About the Author

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Mark L. Vincent (PhD, CCNL) is the Director of the Convene Consulting Network. He is also the Founder of Design Group International, an organizational development company providing wise guidance for enterprise, nonprofits, and ministry organizations. His passion is to love leaders as they claim their life vocation as stewards of enterprise.