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Friday, January 18, 2019

Lean Quote: What are You Doing for Others?

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?"" — Martin Lurther King Jr.

As we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy includes this challenge to us: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” This quote is the essence of servant leadership.

 A servant leader is one who offers an inclusive vision; listens carefully to others; persuades through reason; and heals divisions while building community.

It is easy to spot servant leaders. In a room where others are jockeying for attention, they are the ones listening to someone others might consider unimportant. When faced with a problem, they look for solutions that benefit everyone. When something goes wrong, they take the blame. When things go well, they share the credit. They tell everyone the same story, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. They know that they don’t have all the answers, so they seek advice from others. They work hard and inspire others to do the same.

Asking “What are you doing for others?” is the key to servant leadership. In these six words that MLK made famous, you can determine and deliver the actions that make a difference to those on your team. You will affect lives far beyond what you can imagine. It really is that persistent, urgent—and powerful.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a servant leader. His life shows the extraordinary power of servant leadership to radically transform a nation. 

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