Servus! Servant, Servire

Austrian German has two delicious forms for saying hello. The formal one talks about God –Grüß Gott– and the friendly one about service –Servus-. The origin of the later is also very baroque, meaning an offer of service by the person who greets. In other languages there were similar expressions, unfortunately lost over time.

Saying Servus! as introduction is a wonderful way to position our footsteps in the direction to serve. Also and foremost in the profesional life. Because serving is nothing else than looking after the others. Whoever they are. Sometimes clients, other times employees, commonly superiors, always persons. Persons that have interests, yes, but have much more than that. And the distance between the bare interest and the myriad of expectations, needs, wishes and fears which defines every individual, can only be run by service. That is what servant leadership means. Putting the person in the middle of every undertaking. Person before being someone defined by a role, by a function, by a company or even worse, by fame, power or money.

If we learn how to lead by serving, we are not only connecting with the very nature of our fellows, but we will reach outcomes that we can’t even imagine. It is not a mere management tool, it is the only way to sustain a humble, authentic and ambitious leadership.