Service is Defined by the One Being Served

Service is always defined by the one being served – not by the one serving. I am part of a conference team this summer helping the staff in our organization have a truly great experience. Our task is to serve them by creating moments of love and care. I like to help others, and even serve at times, but I can tend to do it on my own terms.

cross cultural servanthood imageI decided to refresh my memory about serving from a book I read during my Masters in Global Leadership – Cross Culture Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.  No matter where you are on your faith journey, servant leadership and humility are topics that are being discussed in many companies and leadership circles.

You certainly don’t need to travel to the other side of the globe to experience culture. Culture and diversity are all around us. Every day we cross cultures – people we meet and neighbors come with different values, backgrounds, personalities, family of origin if not from a different country. Every relationship is like a cross cultural experience.

You will find Elmer’s steps to serving valuable for any relationship in your life!

Serving : You can’t serve someone you do not understand.

Understanding: You can’t understand others until you have listened and learned about, with and from them.

Learning: You can’t learn important information from someone until they trust you.

Trust: To build trust, others must know you accept and value them; being vulnerable about your own growth and needs helps others do the same with you.

Acceptance: Before you can communicate acceptance, people must experience your openness – your ability to welcome them into your presence and feel safe.

Openness: Requires you are willing to step out of your comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships with others who are different from you.

These six steps do not have be take long – getting to serve can often happen in a matter of a minute.

Which one of Elmer’s steps to serving do you want to employ today in order to become a better servant leader?

If you found this post to be helpful, you might also enjoy:

  1. 10 Ways That People Are Different  Learn how to appreciate and celebrate differences in others.
  2. The Servant-Leader  Six beliefs that servant leaders hold.
  3. Seven Ways to be a Better Giver  Discover some others ways to serve and give.
  4. 4 Early Warning Signs of a Narcissistic Leader  To what degree do are you self protective and self-focused in your relationships?
  5. What I Am Learning About Collaboration  How listening, understanding and being genuinely interested in others can make you a better person and leader.
Posted in Lead Courageously, Live Well, Love Deeply | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Now That’s a Great Question – Free Book!

What do you think makes a great question? Do you know how to multiply others ideas rather than diminish them?  How do you develop leaders and not just followers?

My friend, Bob Tiede (@bobtiede) is celebrating seven years of blogging at Leading With Questions. He has found that a key factor in effective leadership involves listening and asking good questions.

To help celebrate Bob’s blog, we are offering you a free gift. Instead of asking you for something, Bob is giving us a gift! Grab your FREE copy of his new book, Now That’s A Great Question, today at


Are you ready to start asking great questions?

Which of these other posts on leadership might you enjoy next?

  1. The Servant-Leader: What do you think are some key practices of a servant-leader?
  2. Why is asking better than telling?
  3. Is speaking more effective than listening?
Posted in Lead Courageously, Learn Continuously | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Win the Heart

It is a leader’s job to engage the people on his or her team and organization. This is one of the best books I’ve read lately on how to do just that. Very motivational and inspirational. I could not put it down and read it in a couple hours. It was just what I needed. If you only have a few minutes, read Maturitas Cafe blog on the book, but go buy the book and read it.

maturitas cafe

Do you love your job? Are you excited about the work you get to do?

In my work, we talk a lot about engagement, not the pre-marriage kind of engagement, but rather the whole-hearted, full-energy, dedicated-to-our-work kind of engagement. We offer personal and professional assessments to individuals and development training to our team leaders in the hope that we can help build that type of commitment for the work we do. I’ve just read a new book that is a great resource for those of us who desire to see full-out engagement in our co-workers and wanted to share it with you.

We CARE about our people,
and we want our people to CARE about their work.

Mark Miller, author of the new book, “Win the Heart“, understands true engagement is a matter of the heart. He explains that engagement matters because people matter. He believes…

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Posted in Lead Courageously | 3 Comments

want to be a good coach?

I just finished reading The COACH Model by Keith Webb in preparation for a three day coaching workshop training. Terry wrote a great summary of the book on her blog.

maturitas cafe

Keith Webb's "The Coach Model"

Coaching values the coachee’s past experience, honors their knowledge and
decision-making skills, and fosters their ownership of chosen action steps. 

Keith Webb’s, The Coach Model, offers an excellent process that helps me to focus on coaching rather than talking, and enables me to help the person I’m coaching discover solutions for themselves.. You’ll notice that Webb’s five process steps spell COACH so that it easy for to remember. Here is a quick summary of how it works:

CONNECT — How are you?

A good coach begins the conversation catching up on anything that has been going on since their last time together. This “small talk” helps to build relationship trust and ensures there is no major distraction going on that might sabotage the discussion that day.  An especially difficult situation may require rescheduling the appointment or simply acknowledging the trial may lessen the pressure enough to continue with the…

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Dilbert on 360 Review Feedback

Every week brings news of tragedy, heartbreak, loss, racial tensions, frustrations with poor leadership, all reminding us of the obvious:

this world is broken and in need of healing.

To be honest, it can be overwhelming, paralyzing, and hopeless to feel so out of control. It is true there are so many things I would like to change; many are out of my control. However, I can control me.

I can begin to make the world a little better by starting with me.

Last week I got feedback on how I can improve my life and leadership, to leave a better wake behind me. I used a simple tool called the 360-degree review. It was nothing like the Dilbert cartoon:


If you have never done a real 360-degree review, I highly suggest it.

Anyone can initiate a 360-degree review. 

My 360 gave me helpful feedback on my strengths and areas for growth. It was like a snapshot based on observed feedback from my supervisor and peers, so I did not feel judged.  I know it does not tell the whole story about me, as people can’t see my thoughts, motivations or intentions, but the feedback was valid and helpful.

My 360 Review Feedback had two simple objectives:

  1. Identify
    • Clear Strengths
    • Hidden Strengths
    • Developmental Needs
    • Blind Spots
  2. Inform my Personal Development Plan.  From my personalized feedback, I am in the process of designing a development plan that will help me move my life and leadership forward in positive ways.

Now, it’s your turn…The process is simple:

  1. Go to
  2. Create your account. It’s free and secure.
  3. Verify your account.
  4. Click on “Initiate a Review”.

Once into the site, you can choose the type of review. (The 360 Lite is 5 questions and helpful for anyone-try that one out this year!  The Leadership 360 is useful for a team leader or organizational leader at any level); you can choose your reviewers and the person who you want to give you your feedback results. If you have any questions, let me know. Only you and the person you choose to give feedback will see your results. I would love to hear about your experience if you do a 360 Review, so please return and leave a comment.


You might enjoy these other posts related to personal growth:

Posted in Leave a Legacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments