Servant Leadership Workplace-Washington

Servant-Leaders Lift Trees

My post a couple of weeks back – “Servant Leaders Don’t Eat Sugar” – prompted one reader to share this story:

Many years ago, a man on horseback encountered a squad of soldiers as he was riding along a Virginia road. The soldiers were trying to move a tree that had fallen across the way.

A corporal stood over the men. “Heave,” he shouted.

But the corporal’s orders were to no avail. The squad could not get the tree to move.

“Why don’t you help them?” the stranger on the horse asked the corporal.

“Me? Why, I’m a corporal sir!”

Dismounting, the rider joined the soldiers.

“All together boys, heave!” he said, adding his shoulders to the work.

At that, the trunk lifted and the squad swung the tree out of the road.

The stranger mounted his horse. As he prepared to ride on, the stranger addressed the corporal.

“The next time you have some heavy lifting, corporal, send for your commander-in-chief.”

The stranger was U.S. President George Washington.

We don’t know whether, after cutting down a cherry tree in his father’s orchard, a young George Washington bravely said, “I cannot tell a lie…I did cut it with my hatchet.”

And we don’t know whether the story above is true.

But we do know that George Washington modeled servant leadership.

Like a great servant-leader, he didn’t expect those whom he led to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.

George Washington walked the servant leadership talk.

And, therefore, in a manner of speaking, George Washington didn’t eat sugar.*

What do you think? Do you like the story?

Let us know.

As always, we appreciate your views. Thanks!

Don’t forget to download our latest ebook, Servant Leadership in the Workplace: A Brief Introduction. It’s free!


* In case you missed it: “Servant Leaders Don’t Eat Sugar”