Growing up as a little girl in former Yugoslavia, I was exposed to Mother Teresa’s work and her foundation through charitable giving to underprivileged children in Africa and then India.
I was mesmerized by the stories of the children’s lives and the level of poverty in their villages, yet could not shake the sense of joy, love, and happiness that radiated from the photos they sent me every year as a thank you for my little donation during holidays.
These experiences and Mother Teresa’s Servant Leadership taught me one of the most profound lessons, as well as leadership traits, that changed my life early on and influenced my personal and career path.
Today, after reflecting on various rich leadership experiences, research, and many conversations with the most influential 21-century leaders, arriving to the following conclusions when it comes to the most desired executive and leadership traits that may surprise you:
Be a Servant Leader – always be a servant first, with an undying passion for serving and assisting others. A true servant leader really doesn’t care who gets the credit for their work – a rare trait that is both refreshing and inspiring for senior executives.
But what do Servant Leaders truly do? They are:
1. Building Community – One of the most important traits is a Servant Leader’s capacity and credibility to build community across the world, regardless how difficult or challenging task or goal it may be.
An exceptional Servant Leader who stands out to me and proved over and over what is possible is Dawn Engle, Co-Founder and Executive Director ofPeaceJam Foundation, a nonprofit organization led by thirteen Nobel Prize Laureates to create a better world by spreading a message of peace and leading by example to youth all around the world.
You may wonder how to build community and be an exceptional servant leader. The key to do this is to:
Educate – Today we have so many ways to communicate educational and learning messages to our audience globally – leverage it! That is exactly what Dawn did when she started PeaceJam Foundation 18 years ago.
Inspire – Be that hero with undying passion and activism by sharing your stories, skills and time.
Act – Find the best ways to engage and welcome others to participate in your effort. You may be surprised at how many people around you are waiting for that right opportunity.
2. Cultivating a Culture of Trust and Inclusion – By creating a safe and inclusive place for others to participate, you create a magical opportunity to engage others and to tap into their passion and desire to contribute.
3. Developing Other Leaders – By providing ongoing opportunities for others to grow and learn to lead while demonstrating consistently exceptional leadership traits.
4. Playing BIG – As Nelson Mandela explains so eloquently, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
5. Thinking Long-Term Impact – Servant Leaders are thinking about the next generation and the impact that they may have if they are acting now. As a result, their decisions are very intentional and driven by the future benefit and impact.
Massive success to you on your journey as a transformational servant leader!
Leave a Legacy – A Legacy That Matters!
Be a Legend – Your Legendary Way!
Learn… Lead… Love… Izabela Lundberg (@IzabelaLundberg) is CEO and Founder of Izabela Lundberg International. She is an Executive Consultant, Trainer & Speaker for Fortune 500 and Professional Athletes & Coaches. She is #1 International Best Selling Author & Leading Authority of Leadership Transformation From Fear to Greatness. Drawing on her extensive global business management, diversity, and high-performance impact expertise through her work with people from over 80 countries, Izabela also writes and speaks on topics such us Strategic Leadership & Influence, Legacy Leadership, & #HighPerformance #Impact.