What Does The Sweet Spot of Servant Leadership Feel Like?

 “And in Christ you have been brought to fullness.”

Colossians 2:10

What does it feel like to truly hit your stride as a servant leader? You know about the benefits of servant leadership to other people and your organization. But what about the benefits to you?

When you “arrive” at a place where you’ve done the work, reversed how you lead, and transformed yourself into a servant leader, how do you feel?

The people I coach can tell you that you feel…full. Centered. Satisfied.

Now, that’s not to say you won’t still strive to achieve. You will, perhaps even more than before. But you’ll be completely satisfied with the way you go about that achieving.

You will have complete confidence in your way of leading and living.

Have you met people in your life who’ve attained this deep level of personal satisfaction in how they lead and live? There’s a calmness about them, isn’t there? A serenity. You can sense something fundamentally different about them, and so can others. People gravitate toward servant leaders and are inspired in their presence.

Why is that?

What is it about serving (instead of cajoling/dictating/threatening/begging) people that instills peace in your life and presence in your leadership?

To answer this question, consider your primary responsibility as a servant leader. There is one duty that’s more important than the all rest, and it’s rooted in Jesus’ Great Commission to us.

Your primary responsibility as a servant leader is to cultivate other servant leaders! To intentionally develop leaders who are ready, willing, and equipped to lead people the way God intended; with love, compassion, and resilience. The good news?

You can fulfill this responsibility more easily than you might think.

Because guess what naturally happens when you become a genuine, heartfelt servant leader? You quickly inspire others to become servant leaders, too!

When this inspiration happens – and you act on it in good faith — you fulfill not only your primary responsibility as a leader but also as a child of God. That’s where the inner peace and riveting leadership presence come from. They’re God-given gifts to you for living out His purpose for your life.

But to receive God’s gift of a deeply satisfying life, there are specific actions you must take. Do these things, and you’ll experience the beautiful “sweet spot” of servant leadership:

  1. Personal development

– It goes without saying, but to transform yourself into a servant leader, you must sharpen your mind by the study of servant leadership. Study scripture. Look at how Jesus led. Model your personal development so that others can see the importance of thoughtful, focused improvement in their own leadership skill sets.

  1. Obey God and deny self

– Prioritizing God’s desires over your own will lead you to the understanding that He created you to be a servant leader. You will start serving others, which will be infectious to those around you.

  1. Serve God and others

– The choice to serve is just that – a choice. Setting aside personal needs, and even dreams, for meeting the needs of others is what servant leadership is all about. Multiplication starts with your selfless service.

  1. Go and teach others

– Multiplication will not happen if you don’t share your knowledge. People are not born servant leaders. It is a skill set and mindset that is learned. Set out each day to teach others the source of servant leadership and how to step into it. Constantly talk about servant leadership and model the way.

  1. Build Relationships

– Just like in sharing your faith, you will gain more traction with people when you have relationships with them. Respecting, listening and loving others will lead to enhanced relationships and improve your ability to help people become servant leaders.

  1. Rely on God

– You can’t do it on your own. The secret to servant leadership is allowing God to work through you in your service to others. The same is true for developing leaders. Don’t pressure yourself to have all the answers. Allow yourself to become a conduit for God’s grace and wisdom.

  1. Be unashamed in your work

– Time is of the essence. Be willing to be very public about your passion for servant leadership. People may never hear about it from anyone else. Be known as a servant leader and – most importantly – be open to being held accountable for a life lived for service.

In a period of ego-driven leadership, I believe our world would be a better place with more servant leaders in it. Your focus on the discipleship of servant leaders will make that happen!

And, you will directly benefit – not only at work but in your personal life, as well.

Are you ready? What will be your first step?


“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16


Mark W. Deterding
Mark W. Deterding
MARK Deterding is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach and the founder of Triune Leadership Services, LLC. His purpose is to work with leaders to help them develop core servant leadership capabilities that allow them to lead at a higher level and enable them to achieve their God-given potential. He has written two books, A Model of Servant Leadership, and Leading Jesus’ Way. With over three decades of experience directing companies and developing leaders, Mark created A Model of Servant Leadership parallel to the principles that Jesus himself illustrated. Working with organizations, leadership teams, and executives one-on-one, he helps bring focus, clarity, and action to make things work. He also conducts training programs to teach faith-based servant leadership principles. His greatest passion is seeing the impact servant leadership has on people’s lives and beyond. Prior to Triune Leadership Services he worked for 35 years in the printing industry holding senior leadership positions at Taylor Corporation, RR Donnelly, and Banta Corporation. He is an accomplished executive with a proven track record for developing purpose-driven; values based teams that drive culture improvement, enhanced employee passion, and improved business results. He is featured in Ken Blanchard’s book “Leading at a Higher Level”, and has been a featured speaker for the Ken Blanchard Companies Executive Forum in both 2007 and 2011. Mark lives in Alexandria, Minnesota with his wife Kim. They have two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and three grandchildren, so far. To find out more about Mark and his work, visit Triune Leadership Services via the Link adjacent his Photo above.

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