Summary: Jesus said “The greatest among you must be a servant.”(Matthew 23:11)
“The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted..”(Matthew 23:11-12)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden speech on the eve of India’s 68th Independence Day on 15th August 2014, from the ramparts of Red Fort was a unique from earlier speeches by former prime ministers on many counts, from a Leadership viewpoint, P.M adage, “I am present amidst you not as the Prime Minister, but as the Prime Servant.” could restore to public memory, the true place of elected representatives, as servants of the people who have chosen them to act on their behalf. Jesus Christ was the one who first said “The greatest among you must be a servant.”(Matthew 23:11) Jesus was speaking about an important principle of leadership, because it applied to all leaders of all times, and especially to those who would follow Jesus. He is telling us that our leaders must be self-giving, rather than self-seeking.
Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better society and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership isn't about positions and titles. Instead, it is an attitude that says people and relationships are more important, valuable and essential to mission success.
We often talk about “Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”(Philippians 2:3) Jesus Christ set a perfect example, throughout His life, of obeying this principle. Notice that just after commanding Christians to esteem others better than themselves, Paul said, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"(Philippians 2:5) Time and again Christ exemplified an attitude of service toward all within His reach. God's desire is for us to lose our sense of self-centeredness and replace it with an attitude of outgoing concern for all — an attitude of wanting to see them grow, advance and prosper. As we yield to God and His Holy Spirit, a miraculous change will occur in our lives. We will take on a new heart, nature and outlook. We will become kinder, more thoughtful and compassionate. We'll find that serving others will become a sheer joy and delight.
Moreover, this new disposition will become a daily habit — a spontaneous way of life. For the servant-leader this isn't a sense of duty, it is an imperative embedded in their DNA; they genuinely care about others and know that mission success absolutely depends on individual successes of those around them.
John C. Maxwell, famous leadership mentor said this, "True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader." No matter what capacity you serve in. your success isn't defined by how much you personally achieve but on how much those you influence achieve. If you want to learn leadership, go to the greatest Book on leadership ever written—the Bible. The leadership lessons we can glean from the Bible are ageless wisdom that transcends time from the Garden of Eden to the present.
In my view some great examples of servant-leaders throughout history may be people like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr etc these leaders absolutely put the needs of others before their own and, because of it, are considered some of the greatest, most beloved leaders to have ever lived.
The greatest leader, however, that I admire most is Lord Jesus Christ. He set a perfect example as a servant leader, throughout His life; His goal was not status or popularity. In fact, as strange as it sounds today, he actively discouraged publicity. On more than one occasion, after performing a jaw-dropping miracle, he told those who witnessed it, “Tell no one what you have seen” (see e.g., Matthew 8:4; 16:20; 17:9; Mark 7:36; 8:30; 9:9; Luke 5:14; and 8:56). He was a publicist’s nightmare. Jesus submitted his own life to sacrificial service under the will of God (Luke 22:42), and he sacrificed his life freely out of service for others (John 10:30). He came to serve (Matthew 20:28) although he was God’s son and was thus more powerful than any other leader in the world. He healed the sick (Mark 7:31-37), drove out demons (Mark 5:1-20), was recognized as Master Teacher and Lord (John 13:13), and had power over the wind and the sea and even over death (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 9:18-26).
Jesus’ leadership style evidently worked well. Within a generation, His followers turned the world upside down (see Acts 17:6). Within seven generations (318 A.D.), the emperor Constantine accepted his message and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Jesus Christ is the most powerful leader of all time; no matter what you believe about him, it is most amazing to see that even after 2,000 years after he lived, the message he tasked his disciples to preach to the world is still the most impacting phenomenon. Historian Kenneth Scott said “As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.” Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.