It’s always fun watching the clammer of higher-ups as they stress and fret when they know that someone even higher up than them is coming to visit. After weeks of induction training and in the middle of our practical exams we are summoned back to the class-room, where there are slides we’ve never seen, for a lecture we’ve never heard being displayed on the screen to impress a man we’ve barely ever met.
You see, the minister of health is due for a visit.
Orchestrated before him, is the classroom of new bright faced interns set up so that he can wander in as a ‘surprise’ for us all. A classroom set as a stage, for political gain. So the rainbows upon lollipops in political land can remain untouched whilst the population maintain their daily duties un-noticed.
Except it wasn’t. And rather than finding a pompous portly character, we found a man who was legitimately interested in us. Instead of grandiose speeches from the lectern came the kind and humble words of a man who understands the daunting tasks before us. His inspiring oration came not with catchy words or flashy promises, but quiet assurance that indeed, our privileged position in the community would indeed benefit those we served.
Few things change ones as attitude as much as personal experience. No matter how many stories we may hear, often it requires our personal witness to sway our minds.
In a world where many clammer for gain and make political moves, few who sit within the ivory tower remain parliamentarians; there to represent the people who elected them and move for their best interests. So when a politician enters a room and with his small entourage begins to discuss servant leadership I will forgive you if you are skeptical. I will forgive you also, for sneering at the games and plays which are enacted as if even those involved were not aware they were taking place. But I beg you consider this: when was the last time you acted to serve the people you lead?
When did you last look out for their interests, protect their dreams and sacrifice your own position, your own self esteem for the people who call you leader? When did you promote their purpose, above your own?
Because today I met a parliamentarian who has taken a few leadership lessons from Jesus, and leads for the benefit of those people he is leading.
So, who do you lead for?