What does it mean to serve?
It’s a question worth asking yourself, especially if you’re a leader. Recent research has revealed that the younger generation of workers wants to work at a company with high potential AND a high purpose. They want to make as much of a difference to profit margins as they do the marginalized.
As a result, service—doing something for someone other than yourself or your people—is something many companies are beginning to explore, if not outright embrace.
Here at the John Maxwell Company, we believe that serving is part of the requirement for leadership, and because we believe that, we’ve built service into our culture. There are a lot of small ways that service shows up in our day-to-day work, but every once in a while, we call a time-out on the office life and we take our service into the community.
The most recent example of this was on Friday, October 5, when our team spent an entire day volunteering at the North Gwinnett Co-Op, located just down the road from us in Buford, Georgia. We had everyone from our CEO to our CSR on-hand to put a little sweat equity into a truly amazing organization.
The Co-Op serves people in so many different ways—they give away bread from the local Publix bakery; the operate a Thrift Store where people can come and purchase everything from clothing to kitchen ware (they even had Halloween costumes on sale for only $4.00!); they operate a food pantry that allows people to come and get staple items for their grocery lists at no cost to them.
One of their biggest service programs is helping people have something for Christmas. Our team spent time helping people fill out their “Wish List”, which will be passed on to local shoppers that will go out and purchase items on the Co-Op’s behalf. Then, parents will be able to come in to the Co-Op on a special day and shop through those items for gifts to give their children.
“People lack wealth, not dignity,” Kim Phillips, the Co-Op’s Executive Director, told our team. “That’s what we’re here to give.”
And that’s exactly what the Co-Op does.
Service is not just giving of yourself, it’s something you do for someone else to add value to them and help them embrace their full dignity as a person.
And leaders understand that it’s a posture we must embrace daily. If you’re a leader, ask yourself:
- Am I willing to serve someone today?
- Am I willing to add value to another person and help them in ways I may not even understand?
If you decide that you are willing, I would love to hear your stories of service in the comments below because those stories are powerful reminders that, every day, we are surrounded by people who have intrinsic value and are looking for someone to simply recognize that value.
To take a moment and care.
I hope you choose to find just such a moment today.