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7 Churches on 7 Sundays! – The Responsibilities of Servant Leadership.

At  Church, Sunday we met the pastor who had just returned from a seven week sabbatical. You see he had felt  “burned out” from years of servant leadership. It’s both a love a calling and a heavy responsibility.

He said something that really caught my attention. He said:


“What do you do when you no longer like what you love?”

He had many words of wisdom that apply to all of us in our daily work whatever we do.

We all need to reawaken and rekindle the spirit that brought us to our calling.

I thought wow! That’s incredibly touching and I bet many of us feel like that from time to time.

He said, all too often people don’t know what I do but are quick to tell me what I have done wrong! But then I know I need to understand why. Sound familiar?

Sometimes we need to step away from being the Pastor or Business Leader and become one of the followers and parishioners’ and go among them to hear their voices.


We need to walk in their shoes and really listen and feel what they feel. We need to understand that not everything is what we believe or want it to be.


Different lenses see different pictures and we need to understand and weave them into our tapestry in the work we do.

He said “I can’t remember a time when I got a call in the middle of the night from someone saying they had had a great day? It was often something more pressing.”

We all need to give appreciation.

There are often times in the work we do in each of our businesses that means being a leader is all consuming. Who listens in your world, and who cares?

Everyone needs a “trusted someone” to speak to. We also need to remember that a business is a community and is more than a building.


The pastor said that he “needed time to contemplate the sacred relationship he had with his Church”.

He did not question his faith, what he needed to understand was how he could be the best pastor he could ever be and to use his talents in the best way he could:


To serve those who had entrusted their faith in him.


Does your leader reflect on his/her impact and focus on you?


The work of a Pastor is 24-7 there is little time for self and who does a Pastor go to, here on earth, when that lonely moment comes for self reflection and self doubt?

We all get to a point that we get weary and down and need the courage to see it and then do something to re-energize:


So that once again we like the work we love.

He posed the question: “How do you prepare good people to become the best versions of themselves?”

Leadership is not about self. It’s about creating leaders out of every single follower.

He posed the observation:

That the discontented people in this world are those who are not happy with what they have. Those that are really happy are those who have given of themselves for others.

The power to serve comes from within the faith that you have.


The pastor had taken ownership of who he is and recognized the need to do something!

He recognized that to take care of others he needed to be whole himself.

During his time of contemplation he visited seven different churches on seven different Sundays. He had attended as a parishioner and he had found that being a follower teaches us many lessons, like:

We all need to walk among our followers, as often as we can and really listen and people are not very different wherever you go.

A church like our own business is not a building. It’s the people within that are the church and the congregation and the employees and are the ones we serve.


So our Pastor visited other churches and found that they all have issues, the solutions are within each one of us. Other churches are not better they are simply different.


The grass is only greener when you nurture it to be so. That’s what Leadership is all about.







Picture courtesy Prerna231 Group


Who’s Loyalty is it anyway?

We hear these words every day. Who is loyal to whom and what and why!

The pronunciation of the Chinese symbol for loyalty is “jong cheng”.

It’s a universal value that we all seek and is often the worst and the best of people! It’s been around from the days of Adam and Eve, and it’s not always for ever~ many people know this to their sadness and detriment! It’s something you have to work to earn and then work harder to keep.

So I sat down with a friend and we discussed the different loyalties there are….

1. The Generational differences: Between Gen. Xers, Y’s, Millenniums’ and the Baby Boomers. They all have different loyalties whether to themselves, to the workplace, to family, their gadgets, their future, some want goals and targets some are so laid back they are horizontal, some want to be communicated with others want to be left alone. One thing is for sure they have different loyalties and being aware of those differences to achieve inclusiveness when you hire these folks is crucial for fit in your business to assure engagement.

2. In the workplace: Is employee loyalty to the manager, the co-worker, the CEO, the business strategy the mission or a faith-based philosophy. Best to find out what it is, so that you know what sustains their intrinsic motivation. It’s also important to understand in these difficult times when employee loyalty is being tested with pay reductions, benefit cuts, layoffs. How is employee loyalty rewarded when they have given 30 years of their lives and how is the loyalty factor affected of those that remain?

3. In the High Street: The grocery and retail stores we shop at, the car dealerships, the places where we eat, and the doctors we trust. It all comes down to the fact that we return to places where we feel “treasured”, well maybe I should not go that far, but we do want to feel special for sure. How fickle can we be when in one instance we lose that “feeling of being special”.  Oh Yes! Those retail loyalty cards that “buy” our loyalty is it us the stores want or our money?

4. Loyalty to your Country: The blind loyalty that gets people to do things for patriotic reasons sometimes against their own convictions. Often people die for this kind of loyalty- the supreme sacrifice.

5. Loyalty for a cause: The passion for Fundamental Rights and Freedom, Charities, a Church, a Club, or a Cause so unshakeable they will lose friendships for. History is littered with people who stood up for Freedom, Racial Adversity and Oppression.

6. Loyalty to friends and family: Blood is thicker then water so sometimes we stick by those we love just because… and we do so no matter what because we love them.

So how fickle is loyalty? I leave that for you to think about? Why is it often an uneven balance with one giving more then the other?

One thing is for sure having different loyalties does not mean you are disloyal to something else.

Being loyal to something different represents richness of difference and of inclusiveness of the people we are, and it’s not wrong to think or be different. What is wrong is not embracing those differences.

So is loyalty a one or two way street?  I believe it’s a highway! A highway that asks us to drive together in our different “loyalty vehicles” of choice and our challenge is to ensure we reach the same destination- together without crashing into each other!

Picture by Foxie, guarding the body of her master Charles Gough, in Attachment by Edwin Landseer, 1829



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