Daily Archives: August 20, 2008

Selflessness

The question of selflessness was raised in response to a prior post. The answer that I have chosen follows the path of servant-leadership.

“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious change brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant Leader, 1970

That quote by Greenleaf nearly defines the role of a coach. The goal of a coach is to enable, encourage, acknowledge and nurture change in others. The coach serves others as they develop themselves. This is true of a leader as well and the two roles, coach and leader, are distinguished only by the role. A leader is often viewed as the person in front of the crowd. The coach could be viewed as a member of the crowd that helps the leader grow in becoming a better servant. The view is that from leader the next logical step is coach, helping others become more of who they are.

The servant-coach fits this description, “Servant Leadership deals with the reality of power in everyday life – its legitimacy, the ethical restraints upon it and the beneficial results that can be attained through the appropriate use of power.” New York Times (October 2, 1990)

Being selfless is defined as having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself; unselfish (thefreedictionary.com). A servant leader, a coach in their ultimate role is an act of selflessness. Attaining the wisdom and taming the ego are two important traits that must be continually developed to be good at leadership or at coaching.

When we are prepared to ask of ourselves, “I am ready to seek a future different from the past.” we are stepping into the realm of personal and deep change. Those who are ready to seek a future that is radically different than the past may want to have a coach assist them in that transition. What does the future look like? How will I be prepared to face the new future I am creating?

Can you answer with authenticity the question, “Do I love what I see inside of me?”, if not then there is room for growth, change and new possibilities.