Servant Leadership Workplace-Eclipse

5 Reasons Servant-Leaders Are Not Like a Solar Eclipse

Today, the first total solar eclipse is visible coast to coast in the continental United States since 1919.

Here at Cairnway headquarters in Atlanta, the moon will eclipse about 95% of the sun. Lots of people I know are driving north to experience a full-eclipse-Monty, so to speak. I’ve had a couple of meetings cancelled for this reason. I appreciate it’s a big deal.

So, given this appreciation – and in the interest of being topical – here are 5 reasons servant-leaders are not like a solar eclipse.

  1. Servant-leaders don’t block the light of others. As the moon blocks the sunlight during an eclipse, poor leaders block the accomplishments of others – of their team members, of their followers, of their peers. Servant-leaders, however, step out of the way and let the light from others shine for all to see.
  1. Servant-leaders don’t cause fear. We can imagine that ancient people were afraid when the sun suddenly disappeared, eaten, as it may have seemed, by the shadow of the moon. But servant-leaders – especially servant-leaders in the workplace – drive out fear. In its place, they make room for joy.*
  1. Servant-leaders don’t show up every now and then. Total solar eclipses are few and far between. So too, many lousy leaders have a tendency to drop in, stir things up, and move on. Servant-leaders, on the other hand, are steadily and consistently present for their followers. To put it another way, servant-leaders aren’t seagull leaders . . .

. . . What’s a seagull leader?

Someone who swoops in, screeches like hell, craps all over everything, then flies away.

  1. Servant-leaders don’t depend upon the weather. Eclipses are lovely when skies are clear, but rain has ruined many an eclipse-watching day. Likewise, a lousy leader may seem acceptable when times are good at work. But when times are tough – when rain is falling – it’s the servant-leader you want to follow.
  1. Servant-leaders don’t cause hazard to your health. An eclipse without appropriate eyewear can damage your retinas. So, too, there is increasing evidence that a stressful workplace can shorten your life. Servant-leaders watch the health of their followers and are sure to save them from burnout.**

If you have something to add, let me know – I will try to include it in my post the next time a total solar eclipse is visible coast to coast in the continental United States: April 8, 2024.***


As always, we appreciate your views.


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


* Check out this one: “Joy at Work”

** See, for example: Ana Swanson, “Your job is literally ‘killing’ you,” The Washington Post, October 28, 2015.

*** Total solar eclipse photo above courtesy of Wikimedia commons.