As our team grows here at OSI, I’ve been doing a decent amount of training on our sales process and methodology.
The very first tenant and pillar to this training has to do with Servant Leadership. Servant Leaders focus on identifying and meeting the needs of others rather than trying to acquire power, wealth, and fame for themselves. Their wealth is not defined by the size of their bank account, but the depth and breadth of the relationships they have built over the years, as well as the value and meaning they bring to these relationships.
As OSI continues to add new partners, clients and agents across the country and around the world, my objective is to continue to push the firm forward as a living breathing manifestation of Servant Leadership.
This comprehensive philosophy was put forward in modern times by Robert K. Greenleaf @ 1970, however Servant Leadership is an ancient philosophy and one that most all the old school sales consultants and trainers, such as Zig Ziglar, spoke about in their books and seminars.
There are passages that relate to servant leadership in the Tao Te Ching, attributed to Lao-Tzu, who is believed to have lived in China sometime between 570 BCE and 490 BCE:
The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware. Next comes one whom they love and praise. Next comes one whom they fear. Next comes one whom they despise and defy. When you are lacking in faith, Others will be unfaithful to you. The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, All the people say, ‘We ourselves have achieved it!’
Chanakya wrote, in the 4th century BCE, in his book Arthashastra:
“the king [leader] shall consider as good, not what pleases himself but what pleases his subjects [followers]” “the king [leader] is a paid servant and enjoys the resources of the state together with the people.”
Servant leadership can be found in many religious texts, though the philosophy itself transcends any particular religious tradition. In the Christian tradition, this passage from the Gospel of Mark is often quoted in discussions of servant leadership:
“But Jesus called them [his disciples] to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45
Islam as well speaks to “the leader of a people is their servant” and other world religions have long embraced the philosophy of servant leadership.
Though you probably “get” Servant Leadership conceptually, I encourage you, in your own way, to think deeply about this philosophy not simply as a sales technique, but a way of life. Think of those you’ve met who follow this way of life. This world desperately needs more Servant Leaders, and should you want to explore more, I would be honored to help guide you.