BROTHER LEO’S SERVANT LEADERSHIP

An old legend tells of a monastery in France well-known throughout Europe because of the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately the monks began to bicker over who should do various chores.

On the third day they met another monk who was also going to the monastery and he joined their party. This monk never complained or shirked a duty, and whenever the others fought over a chore, he would gracefully volunteer and simply do it himself. By the last day the other monks were following his example, and they worked together smoothly.

When they reached the monastery and asked to see Brother Leo, the man who greeted them laughed: “But our brother is among you!” And he pointed to the fellow who had joined them late in the trip.

Source | Michael Josephson in What Will Matter

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Some people seek leadership positions not so much for what they can do for others, but for what the position can do for them: status, connections, perks or future advantage. As a result, they do service primarily as an investment, a way to build an impressive resume.
  • Brother Leo reminds us of another form of leadership, servant leadership. This kind of leadership is more about giving than getting, doing rather than demanding.
  • Imagine how much better things would be if  more politicians, popes, bishops, priests, educators, business executives and all the many other kinds of community leaders saw themselves as servant leaders?