Servant-leaders don’t eat sugar?
What the heck are you talking about, Joe? Have you lost your mind?
I get asked that occasionally. Well, not the sugar part, but the latter two questions, I do.
So, here is what the heck I am talking about – a story I heard last week about Mohandas Gandhi:
A mother had come to her wit’s end with her son. He would not stop eating sugar and she could not get him to stop. The habit was affecting his health.
Out of desperation, the mother sought out Gandhi for help. She asked Gandhi to tell her son to stop eating sugar.
Gandhi said to the mother, “Come back in three weeks.”
Three weeks later, the mother returned with her son.
Gandhi looked at the son and said, “Stop eating sugar.”
Surprised, the mother asked, “Why did you have me wait three weeks before you would say this?”
Gandhi replied, “Three weeks ago, I was still eating sugar.” *
Call it want you want, “walking the talk” or “not eating sugar” – the point is the same: Servant-leaders don’t expect others to do anything they are unwilling to do themselves.
Servant-leaders avoid hypocrisy, double standards and duplicity.
Maybe that makes them happier, for as Gandhi says:
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” **
What do you think? Do you like the story?
Let us know.
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* I got the story from Brenda Corbett and Judy Colemon Kinebrew, founders of the Sherpa executive coaching program. One of the best executive coaching programs in the world, Sherpa is very aligned with servant leadership. To learn more, visit the Sherpa website.
** Enjoy this post: “15 Great Quotes from Gandhi”