The Servant Heart

Servant leadership; a term that I have heard quite a bit throughout my time in FFA. I remember being asked how I demonstrated servant leadership in one of my chapter officer interviews. I was taken back by the question. At the time, I was not so sure on the exact definition of what “servant leadership” truly was. How was I supposed to answer the question? Well, my answer consisted of a story when I helped serve at a luncheon at my church. I thought that it was a pretty good answer for a question that I was not 100% on! However, I later learned what “servant leadership” really was, and how I could apply it to my daily life. 

Robert K. Greenleaf put the modern servant leadership movement into motion with his 1970 publication of his essay, The Servant Leader. He defined the “servant leader” as follows:
       “The servant-leader is servant first…It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.” He then goes on to say…
       “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”
After my interview, Mr. Lyder (our Advisor) told a few of us interviewees what a “servant leader” really was. Essentially, he informed us that a servant leader puts others first. Their desire is to assist others in growing as individuals and leaders. The knowledge that I gained from Mr. Lyder directly corresponds with Robert K. Greenleaf’s essay. Something that has stuck with me from what I have learned about servant leadership is to serve with your whole heart. Nothing else. 
As a State Officer this year, I have challenged myself to make sure that this journey does not become about me, and that the people around me are my top priority. I am confident that when I serve with my whole heart, everything else will fall into place. My challenge to you, the reader, is this:
1. Strive daily to be a servant leader by putting others first. 
2. Smile every day. When you present a happy self, others will follow!
3. Develop a positive attitude. Life is better when you are optimistic!
4. When life seems difficult, PRAY!
5. Turn to others when you are feeling down. 
6. Live every moment to the fullest! 
   I have just a couple more things before I end my first blog post! 🙂
      A few things you should know about me, Chantelle Simon…
   1. My family and my faith are my top two priorities. They both keep me grounded. 
My wonderful parents without my younger sister and brother!

   2. I am always moving…always. Just ask the other state officers! 🙂

   3. I LOVE meeting new people!
    4. My passion is FFA!! 🙂 
   5. I love my teammates! 🙂 They are all amazing people! 

Kansas FFA, how will you serve with your whole heart?