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Servant Leadership

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Feast of Saint James, Apostle

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave”. (MATTHEW 20:27-28)

I believe Jesus calls us to be humble in our leadership efforts and to keep those we lead in front of us.   Leadership can be challenging. As a leader, I am a continual work in progress. A fortunate few are born leaders. They have a genuine knack for motivating, supporting, inspiring and serving others. I am blessed to work with a number of those individuals who are also gracious mentors (even if they aren’t aware of it). 

For me, this scripture speaks to the very heart of what it means to be a servant leader, a term I hear frequently at Avera. I am working on strengthening this skill that I admire in so many others. It is easy in the busyness of the day to give instructions and make decisions that will achieve a desired outcome. It is even easier to forget how those same decisions might be adversely affecting another’s world, setting off an unintended chain reaction. So I will continue to work on this aspect of leadership to ensure that my mind and my heart make decisions together.


God of wisdom,

we ask that You guide our decision making,

so that we lead with both our hearts and minds.

Give us both strength and compassion as we lead,

so that those we serve may flourish and grow. Amen.

Julie Ward
Vice President Innovation & Strategy, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

2 CORINTHIANS 4:7-15 ● PSALM 126:1BC-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6 ● MATTHEW 20:20-28

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