Posts Tagged ‘a real life servant leader’

Day 97 How to Lead by THE BOOK: A Real Life Servant Leader

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Yesterday I taught my new Simply the Best Customer Service Workshop to a client’s team of 40+ managers in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a one day version of the full two day workshop I’ll give in January at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The audience was made up of professionals from the hotel, restaurant, and automotive industries. The class was a great success and my hosts presented me with a special gift after the presentation: a new IPAD with all the accessories! What a great surprise and display of generosity!

As I’ve been writing the chapter on servant leadership this week, I was challenged to decide who I would use as an example of a contemporary servant leader in the book. My goal is to include as many real life examples and scenarios of leadership in How to Lead by THE BOOK as possible. Of the many great servant leaders I’ve become acquainted with over the years, I decided to use my friend John Maxwell as the example of a servant leader.  Here is an excerpt from the book that explains why. It will also give you a portrait of what an effective servant leader is and does:

John Maxwell the leader, the celebrity, the servant

My wife, daughter and I traveled to Israel with members of the Christ Fellowship Church located in West Palm Gardens, Florida. My long time friend, leadership guru, and best-selling author, John Maxwell and his wife Margaret, co-hosted the trip with the Mullins family who do an outstanding job of leading Christ Fellowship Church.

John was one of the leaders of the tour, he was the celebrity, but he was also the servant. Everywhere we visited, John gave a mini-lesson to add insight and value to our experience. On the Mount of the Beatitudes, he preached a moving sermon about the Sermon on the Mount. As we boated across the Sea of Galilee, John shared insight that placed us in the boat with the disciples the night Jesus walked to them on the water. On the Mount of Olives, John shared scripture that put us in Jesus’ sandals as He wept over Jerusalem. While on the Mt. of Olives, John even performed a hilarious rap and dance, “Baal Busters”, reenergizing the tired tour group and making him even more approachable. He then led us down a path to the Garden of Gethsemane where we partook of a communion that brought tears to the eyes of many.

At Caesarea, John gathered us in the ancient Roman Theater and brought to life Paul’s bold defense there before King Agrippa. After this lesson, he invited anyone who wanted to talk more about Jesus and faith, to visit with him. Following a rain shower at Beth Shen, it was John with his hankie drying off the chairs the group would use for lunch. Even with a non-stop schedule, John took the time to meet personal needs. He prayed one-on-one with whoever asked. Many times, despite the frantic pace and bustling crowds, I saw him, arm wrapped around the shoulder of another, walking, listening, conversing, and encouraging. He tirelessly posed for hundreds of photographs with group members at each stop. John even bought ice cream and other goodies for the entire bus, adding life, love, and laughter as we sojourned for nine days across Israel.

John was one of the tour’s leaders, its biggest celebrity, and most noble servant. Of the many priceless memories and lessons my family and I took away from our pilgrimage to Israel, John Maxwell’s real life lessons on how to be a servant leader was the most valuable, and remains the most memorable.