Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22: 35-39)
What would happen if you dedicated your whole life to the living out of one simple statement?
I became a Christian at the age of 20. I hesitate to use the term “born-again”; the phrase has been drug through the muck, losing much of its meaning. Saying to someone you were “born-again” often conjures frightful images for many, none of which apply to me. Although I’m sensitive to this, I now realize to not start here is to eliminate the foundation for understanding who I am and creates confusion for the listener.
All religions, when stripped of their baggage, point to a journey one must travail. The above is no different. I know this because I have spent a lifetime living it. This is not to say I fully understand the above quote; rather, it is to say I have spent many years pursuing its meaning. The difficulty is found in an opportunity cost few are willing to pay.
My pursuit and passion for understanding “mind” led to a broad and deep liberal arts education, some of it formal, much of it informal. Philosophy, theology, religious studies, history, literature, psychology and sociology are all subjects with long taproots within my education. If I were to assign college credits to everything I studied, I would likely have, not one, but two bachelors in liberal arts.
Yet, none of these subjects or degrees are listed on my resume. Instead, I have a Bachelor’s in I.T (with emphasis in Software Engineering), and a Master’s in Social Work. The former testifies to the strength of my mind in logic, reason, and analysis. The later provided the framework for putting it all together in a practical way for the benefit of others.
My pursuit and passion for understanding “heart” led to a broad and deep ethnographic experience. I followed my inner voice into a vast array of experiences and singular journeys with people from many races, ethnicities, creeds, and cultures. I have a talent for building therapeutic relationships because I can relate to the deepest passions and fears of most people, either from personal experience, or through vicariously walking alongside others in similar situations. I have a talent for building community because, although the context is different for each unique life, the themes remain the same and are shared by all.
My pursuit and passion for understanding “soul” led to twenty years of experience which can best be described as servant-leadership. As I studied the human condition, I applied what I learned on the behalf of many, much of which occurred before I heard the term “servant-leadership”. The term is in vogue today, as many leaders seek to implement the principles described by Robert Greenleaf all across their organizations. The difficulties in implementing these principles are rooted in the misunderstanding of what is meant by the word “servant”. I first learned to become a servant before I learned to become a leader, and I teach others this same path as a way towards excellence in all they do.
How do I know this about myself? It isn’t from degrees, accolades, or rewards, nor is it from quantifiable statistics on a resume, nor is it from any success I have achieved in my life. Rather, it is from the testimony and thankfulness of my neighbors.
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” If the first part of the above quote is the theory, then loving your neighbor is a practice model. If you want to know whether you are making an impact, ask your neighbor, and adjust your behavior accordingly.
“The greatest among you shall be a servant to all,” is another quote by the same man, a measurement by which to assess yourself. I have failed many times to live up to these lofty ideals, and I in no way expect that I shall ever be perfect in their pursuit. However, each failure has lent a brick towards the foundation of my success, and my foundation is solid. As many have noted, perfection is not a goal or destination; rather, it is the process or journey.
Do you echo what I am saying?
Somewhere, there is a leader undergoing the same character development I have gone through, and is seeking a servant to help them instill or strengthen these principles within their organization, through teaching, coaching, mentoring and modeling. Somewhere, there is an organization who either exercises these principles, or is looking for someone to add to an existing culture. Somewhere, there is an agency who understands that truly helping clients involves much more than a weekly counseling session.
Somewhere, someone is looking for a servant-leader with an impressive array of tools in their toolbox.
Are you that someone? Simply contact me, and let’s talk.