Every organization, be it corporate, not for profit, religious or otherwise, runs a common conversation of resistance to a 'from the top-down’ or traditional leadership model. It is stated to be controlling and exclusive and that perpetuates the historical roots of supremacy, keeping spirits broken and creativity and productivity at a minimum. It is simply a dictatorship.
A servant leadership model, whose sole purpose is to support, has come to light over the past decade or two, as a non-traditional way to engage, include, and build conscious community. I believe that this style of shared leadership is foundational to the rising awareness of the value in gathering together with intention and purpose which, in serving the individual, serves the collective.
Servant Leadership is the only type of leadership that can call forward the sacredness in community. The term sacred comes from Latin sacer (“set off, restricted”). A person or thing was designated as sacred when it was unique or extraordinary.
After many years of experiencing the traditional leadership style, and leading myself from that mindset, I can attest to the fact that there was no community, let alone a sense of the sacred. When I entered ministry, I witnessed the same scenarios listening to various laity members and collegial frustrations, until one day, I turned to myself and asked, “how can I exemplify a new way of walking in this world as a leader, and what, then, might be extraordinary and sacred about building community?”
Here are the three concepts I decided to address as I myself moved from traditional to servant leadership, with the intention of creating sacred community
1) Guiding and holding space for us to work towards a greater cause, which could not be accomplished alone as an individual.
The greater idea is Unity, indeed a spiritual practice with ‘the other’ asking us to live the principle of Oneness and learn to demonstrate the qualities of compassion, acceptance, and equanimity for all. This idea offers to each of its participants the opportunity for personal empowerment through the advocacy of dismantling toxic judgement and deeply rooted beliefs of oppression, in ways that lift up the collective.
2) Supporting others in their exploration and expression of their unique gifts through the act of service.
As we feel safe and supported in the offering and demonstration of our unique talents, we attract the resources in which to play in bigger and bigger ways, increasing personal fulfillment and meaning in life.
3) Creating collaboratively and implementing the 3 C’s method of decision making.
Let’s face it, life will always seem like herding cats, perhaps not when silenced in a collective meditation or yoga practice, but certainly for the remaining number of hours in a workday! Each to his own, in many respects, preserves the healthy state of independence, from which interdependence can be fostered. And yet, there needs to be a democratic system whereby each maintains a sense of empowerment and respect, and at the same time, a deeper sense of the sacred power in/of community, in the decision-making process. The 3 C’s is but one of many models that can support this experience while keeping the vision and purpose of an organization thriving. Clarity, Consensus, and Commitment are the 3 C’s. Is everyone clear on the motion? Does everyone agree either with the motion or, if not in 100% agreement, will still support the motion? Is everyone committed to uphold the motion, doing what is required of them moving forward, in support of this motion?
For me, the bottom-line will always be found within the willingness and commitment of the individual to take responsibility in knowing their needs and meeting those needs, without projecting false expectation on leadership. When we get, that whatever we need is sourced within, we will perceive and treat ourselves as a sacred, unique and extraordinary human being, and share our truth from a place of wonder, gratitude, and love. Here, all becomes right with the world and the organization! By Reverend Nadene Rogers
Please join us on Sunday when Rev. Cassandra Rae will speak on: Creating Conscious Connections and building Conscious Community.