Business Person Holds a Sign that Reads: "My Christmas Wish: Servant-Leadership"

The Servant-Leader’s Night Before Christmas – 2020 Edition

Business Person Holds a Sign that Reads: "My Christmas Wish: Servant-Leadership"
All I want for Christmas is Servant Leadership

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all of the staff
Sat on Zoom hoping a leader would come, on their behalf.
Tired of the power model still in the air,
They hoped a servant-leader, soon would be there.

There had been no focus on long-term success,
And Short-term drivers too long caused distress.
While some struggled for a solution, others had fled,
We needed a change before going in the red.

Then amongst the board there arose such a clatter,
“Ego-based leaders” they said, “no longer matter.”
“We’ve ousted the selfish, greedy narcissists,
Replaced them with servant leaders, here to assist.”

Ego’s torn, pride drowned, the power leaders signed out,
Their golden parachutes and bonuses now in doubt.
Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Not whom we expected, but one we all held dear.

One who was humble, his concerns were sincere,
We knew right then, our servant-leader was here.
His demeanor was calm, though his message strong:
“We’ve got much that’s broken, so the road will be long.”

“Now finance, accounting and back-office teams,
we’ll focus on the future, sustainability our theme.
As for the front-office, say to our customers,
we’re focused on success, for all our stake holders.”

He asked for concerns from the group all around,
listening for hours, until no more fears were found.
He sought out solutions, volunteers and experts,
“I’ve not all the answers, and count on your efforts”

As the night wore on, we grew less tired,
As the future looked brighter, we grew more inspired.
We were no longer feeding egos, pride and greed,
But building something far greater, indeed.

New leaders were appointed, for now at least,
Many volunteered to fill gaps by those now released.
But the message was clear for all to observe:
If you want to lead here, you had first to serve.

“Leaders won’t focus on fame, or their name in lights
they will have busy days, large loads, and long nights.
“They’ll focus instead on all our stake holders,
putting other names in lights and magazine covers.”

The message hit home clearly, as we all knew,
By serving others, we’d increase revenue.
Leaders would focus on staff, who’d impress our customers,
And with happy customers, we’d please investors.

Serving to lead, the paradox for success,
That Christmas Eve our servant-leader did impress.
Inspired we left, with challenges ahead,
A long road yes, but we’d be servant-led

My head spun with excitement, as I called my wife.
She asked “What’d that boss do now, give you more strife?”
I answered “We’ve a new boss and one we deserve.
We finally got it – to lead means to serve.”

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Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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