Last week, on Tuesday evening (25 November 2014), in Brussels, we were delighted to welcome a group of young women (and a man) to our workshop: Awareness, understanding and application of servant-leadership.
Hosted by the co-founders of The Greanleaf Center for Servant Leadership Brussels at the cosy venue of The Library Europe, the two-hour session aimed to help participants discover how they can become servant-leaders themselves: How can they lead without having a management position? How can they make people around them grow?
After a presentation about the concept, the participants were invited to exchange their ideas and experiences in small groups through several rounds of discussion.
During the storytelling, we came up with some characteristics of a servant-leader: empowering, facilitating, listening, non-judgemental, trustworthy and trustful, humble, passionate. The attributes were many. In a nutshell, a servant-leader lift up those around him/her and is constantly looking at how s/he could make a meaningful contribution. Then we discussed about the numerous opportunities to serve in different ways: at work, in our family and several communities we are a member of. Finally, we reflected on the short and long-term actions we can take while striving to become a servant-leader and opening up our environment to servant-leadership. The workshop reached its purpose to facilitate dialogue among participants and to arrive at a deeper, personal level of understanding based on which everyone could fill out their personal action sheet.
To close the evening, participants shared in a word or a sentence what they would take away from the workshop. A participant was happy to have had the opportunity to meet 30 potential leaders. Another one realized that in some ways, she already act as a servant leader. All expressed appreciation for what they learned and the like-minded people they met. “My two daughters will have role models,” said Anne-Sofie from The Library referring to the group.
Here are a few of our key takeaways from the workshop:
- Servant-leadership is not about tips and tricks; it’s an attitude.
- Serving and leading are two sides of the same coin.
- Leadership is not attached to titles or formal authority. It’s a choice, not a position.
- You need to empower yourself first, then can you inspire others.
- Everyone needs to find their own purpose to know how can they serve.
- We can inspire others to serve by demonstrating different leadership roles: modeling, pathfinding, aligning and empowering.
- The servant-leader shares powers, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.
- Serve by example.
To close the evening, participants shared in a word or a sentence what they would take away from the workshop. A participant was happy to have had the opportunity to meet 30 potential leaders. Another one realized that in some ways, she was already acting as a servant leader. All expressed appreciation for what they learned and the like-minded people they met. “My two daughters will have role models,” said Anne-Sofie from The Library, referring to the group.
In case you would like to get in touch with the Greenleaf Brussels team please find their contact details here: