By Mrs. Shatara Seymour (Leonard Wood)January 22, 2015
Where are those dynamic leaders of old?
Do you remember that leader who sacrificed for his or her Soldiers? Leaders like this are few and far between.
They were the ones who earned your respect through their example of courage, integrity and self-sacrifice. What happened to those men and women who did the right thing no matter the consequence? Perhaps, that breed has "gone the way of the buffalo."
The greatest leader is the "genuine" servant leader. But, there aren't very many servant leaders around today. The "so-called" leader of today can give great advice from the sidelines, but that individual hardly ever steps onto the field and runs plays with you.
Both the armed forces and the government service suffer the same epidemic. The mission becomes our own self-aggrandizement, and the troops and employees become pawns and a means to that end.
Too often, leaders don't appreciate the individual and are only too happy to take credit for other's hard work that makes the leader shine and leaves "the help" in the dark.
We all know managers or military leaders who reward their subordinates with backbiting rather than the face time they deserve; we are teaching them how to treat their protégé.
Bad leadership perpetuates bad leadership. If we make what began as service to God, country and fellow man all about serving ourselves, we are sure to leave our Army in the hands of self-servers.
We've had a belly full of the self-centeredness that brings with it low morals, lack of good judgment, egoism and toxic leadership.
Tests, trials and difficult situations show a person's true colors, meaning whatever is underneath will eventually come to the top when the going gets tough.
Leaders aren't meant for pedestals. They are sure to disappoint, and eventually, they will fall off the pedestal we never should have put them on. Great leaders are the rare gems, who place other's welfare above their own.
There is a price to pay to be a leader, and great leaders count the cost and pay the price.
Besides people are not born leaders. Leaders become great when they learn to lead with humility, integrity and skill. We need to get back to the old Army mantra of lead by example. Be, know, do.
Self-service has always been the medicine for poor leadership. Pastor, Dr. David Jeremiah spoke to this point in one of his latest devotionals.
It noted, "Researchers at Arizona State University released a study showing that while arrogance and self-importance impress outsiders, it is bosses and commanders with humility who impress their employees and subordinates. When a leader displays a humble spirit, he or she gains the long-term respect of coworkers."
The Arizona researchers called this kind of attitude: "Servant Leadership."
It went on to say how we respond to feedback can determine if we are leading as servant leaders or not.
Management expert Ken Blanchard states, "When self-serving leaders get feedback, they tend to become defensive or resentful. They're interested in protecting their status, their turf and their system. But servant leaders welcome feedback, for it is how they learn, change, respond to the thoughts and needs of others, and show respect to the one speaking to them."
The moment we truly humble ourselves and become a servant leader, our range of impact expands, and we extend our value in places both large and small.
Leader -- the word belongs to the selfless. If you're only about getting yourself ahead, you are no leader.
Leaders lead others toward a common goal, and you have to sacrifice yourself for others to do that.
If you're all about yourself, you haven't earned the right to lead.
So look around.
If no one is following you, you might just be a stuffed shirt with a chevron, a star or some other title.