Servant Leader needs Knowledge and Wisdom
Servant Leader needs Knowledge and Wisdom
Servant leadership is about serving others by being knowledgeable and wise. The best way Christians can serve others is by using a God-centered approach. To be a Christian is not just doing the right thing it is acknowledging that we need a savior Jesus Christ (Fischer, 2010). Using a man-centered approach a leader will focus more on personal gain than focusing on what God wants which will affect everyone that is managed. If you do not really love Jesus, then you will not truly love the people you lead (Blanchard & Hodges, 2006, p. 166). Christians rooted in the Biblical worldview, must understand that the Greatest Commandment outlines the order of our service – that order being God first, then others (Duby, 2009, p. 2). A good servant leader will need knowledge on how to serve using a God-centered approach and wisdom that exceeds people that are being lead.
Servant leaders must take time to build knowledge not only for themselves but to help others in acquiring knowledge. If in a management position one has to make time to engage employees, to communicate with them, the things that are going on in the company and to share the things they need to know about to give them a big picture (Fischer, 2010). This requires coaching and teaching employees just like Jesus once did. Jesus spent the entirety of his public ministry teaching and showing the way of the kingdom while living the righteousness of God (Duby, 2009, p. 6).
Scripture about Knowledge and Wisdom
Scripture is one way of knowing how to use servant leadership according to God. Scripture is the holy Word from the holy God, delivered by holy men, to teach holy truths and to make people holy (Blanchard & Hodges, 2006, p. 166). Knowledge begins with God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7). Wisdom may be more difficult to gain since it is gained through experience. Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city (Ecclesiastes 7:19). To strengthen wisdom a leader must choose who they come in contact with. He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20).
Knowledge versus Wisdom
Knowledge helps increase wisdom but that does not mean that leaders are knowledgeable. One of the problems that geniuses have in the world is that they are sometimes led by people who are less developed intellectually (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 313). Most do not understand how this is possible. The leader needs two intellectual abilities that are usually not formally assessed in an academic way: he needs to know the unknowable to foresee the unforeseeable (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 313). These leaders have more wisdom than knowledge. This can be explained by the minds two structures, the conscious and unconscious. The conscious mind is information that can be retrieved quickly. While the unconscious mind are memories, thoughts, urges, and feelings that are hard to retrieve but influence us. Many compare the mind to an iceberg. What psychologists call the conscious mind is the one-fifth above the water, and the unconscious or subliminal mind is the four-fifths under the surface (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 197). Wise people, as distinguished from people who are merely brilliant, may have better access to those vast resources below the waterline (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 197). An abundance of knowledge has also shown not to improve decision making. Sometimes those who seem to have the most in the bank find that the teller won’t pay when they hand over their draft (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 54). Again the leaders with wisdom are the ones that make the best decisions. Others who seem to have little on account sometimes come up with a gem of wisdom that would do credit to Solomon (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 54). Knowledge helps but wisdom is better. It is well to know as much as one can about traditional views of right and wrong, but one must not expect that the right choice for very many occasions will emerge directly from this storehouse (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 53).
A good servant leader will need knowledge on how to serve using a God-centered approach and wisdom that exceeds people that are being lead. Knowledge needs to be constantly refreshed. Knowledge can be lost when things are forgotten but wisdom will stay forever. Servant leadership is one piece of the puzzle in effective leadership (Fischer, 2010). This is why a good servant leader needs God, knowledge on how to serve, and wisdom to lead.
Blanchard, K. & Hodges, P. (2006). Lead like Jesus: Lessons from the greatest leadership role model of all time. United States: W. Publishing Group.
Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.
Fischer, K. (Creator). Liberty University (Poster). (2010). Presentation: Biblical leadership [Video].
Duby, D. G. (2009). The Greatest Commandment: The foundation for Biblical servant leadership. Liberty University.