Growing up in Western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh I was very familiar with the name, Andrew Carnegie. I spent many hours studying for a test in one of the numerous libraries named after this nineteenth century steel magnate.
Carnegie was a great philanthropist grown from the crucible of poverty and hard work. He proclaimed in his article “The Gospel of Wealth” the belief that those who earn more have the greater responsibility for the welfare of others. He not only proclaimed it, he did it. He built libraries and academic halls all over the area around Pittsburgh.
However, perhaps Carnegie’s greatest achievement is revealed in the words chiseled on his tombstone:
Here lies a man
Who knew how to enlist
In his service
Better men than himself
When the last words said about someone’s life speak of others, you can truthfully say that person modeled servant-leadership. Yes, Carnegie enjoyed the finer things of life, but his greatest joy was seeing others succeed.
Seeing and exploiting greatness in others always separates average leaders from great leaders. Being able to compliment, nourish and strengthen someone else demonstrates that you are never alone or without meaning in your work, regardless of your vocation.
Great leaders are growers of great people. They’re the people who step away from their desks, or their personal challenges when you come into view. They’re the leaders who ask the tough questions, not to show how smart they are, but to show you how talented you are. Great leaders hold the flashlight and light the path forward and help you see your dream come true. Poor leaders say, “Hold the light higher I can’t see where I’m going.”
As a leader, hopefully bringing out the best in others is among your goals for 2018. Use your influence to make at least one other person’s life significantly better this year. Don’t forfeit your right to lead by thinking God created everyone else to serve you. The greater your rank simply means the bigger your mop bucket.
“For even the Son of Man came to this earth to serve, not be served.” Mark 10:45
What will they inscribe on your tombstone?