Recently the idea of service has come back to front and center for me. I was deeply influenced some years ago by James Hunter and the Servant (All about servant leadership.) More recently I have become affiliated with a firm whose guiding principles are rooted in a book the Go-Giver by Bob Burg and David Mann. (Again a story of service).
And then my wife had me read an article about Robin Williams in People Magazine. This is not a magazine that normally makes my reading list. And as I read the article I was brought to tears. For those of you that know me You are thinking “People Magazine…Really?”
What struck me was a comment by Margaret Cho about how Robin had a clause in each of his contracts that a portion of the work to be done on his sets would be done by homeless people. That’s right homeless people. He wanted to provide them with a chance to earn income with dignity. Think about this idea for just a moment…. Robin realized that we are all in this together and that by extending a hand we can uplift people and give them a chance. They may still go back to the street. But they will go back with their heads held a little higher and with a bit more dignity.
What does this have to do with service? Robin found a way to serve each of us and in the process he was able to multiply that service. I have laughed so hard at his comedy that my sides hurt and tears have streamed down my face. I have paid good money to see his shows, and I have donated money to the cause he, Whoopi and Billy Crystal hosted every year, Comic Relief. Their goal was to raise money and awareness for the homeless in America.
When we choose to lead from a place of service (the good of all as opposed to the corner office and the perks) we can achieve remarkable things.
How will you serve?