001 Servant Leadership

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What does servant leadership mean? 

In the “Servant as Leader” by Robert K. Greenleaf, another question arises: can these two roles (leader and servant) be fused in one real person, in all levels of status or calling?

Chaplain Matt Mendenhall is a perfect example of that. I had an amazing opportunity to interview him and ask him about his personal journey of service. Matt has a unique military experience that is a great template for all of us to follow whether you’re a civilian or in the military. His track record speaks for itself:

26 years of military service
Army Enlisted
Army Warrant Officer
Army Commissioned Officer
Army Reserves
Attack Helicopter Pilot
Instructor Pilot
Government Contractor Flying Overseas
Civil Air Patrol
Currently Working On His Doctorate

The main lesson from Matt’s amazing story is to keep pushing yourself and making yourself better. It’s the lessons you learn by serving others and by past failures. You essentially can’t grow without serving, constantly and consistently. The leadership aspect comes in the form of being that beacon of motivation to your team. Providing that much needed leadership and direction, but not being afraid to be humble and to serve. “The great leader is seen as a servant first” according to Greenleaf. Investing the time and effort in others pays dividends when it’s all said and done.

There is always a way to serve, or in other words, help someone in their personal development. Not only will you help with that person’s personal development but also grow yourself. Servant leadership is a big component to personal growth. Learning to put others before yourself is hard to do. With today’s fast paced society and information overflow, time is a precious commodity. People are not willing to give up their time for other people. Matt realized that ultimately, what matters at the end of the day (or after a 20+ year military career), are those memories and experiences you have with the people you helped and have helped you along the way.

Bottom-line: Keep mentoring, keep reaching out and find mentee’s, and be willing to make sacrifices for others.

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