Punched in the Face!

You won’t really get away with it- they are watching you!

Kathy and I have been spending Saturday mornings serving at an inner city ministry giving out surplus bread and produce to the homeless and needy.  This has been our Saturday morning routine for the past seven years or so.  We completely enjoy serving and have helped to build a vibrant community that has taken the ministry far past the goal of just providing food.  This is a rough area.  An area of high crime and drug activity.  Shooting and violence are common in this neighborhood.

When we get set up, there is often a group of ladies who take cuts at the front of the line.  The men will often plead with us to do something about it.  These ladies are a tough bunch and have been fighting for their families for a very long time.  I get it.  Yet it is frustrating that they can get away with taking cuts. It causes unrest. Even when we speak up, they continue to do what they want and often ignore our requests.

After observing this activity and the reactions, I have figured out how they can get away it. If they were men, the other guys would take care of things. Right or wrong.

They would likely get punched in the face!

Respect and special treatment for women or other groups are not uncommon.  And there is nothing wrong with special privileges.

Unless you take advantage of the situation. 

Leadership often comes with some special privileges.  You may have the opportunity to be in the front.  First in line.  You may be able to avoid some unpleasant tasks or duties as a result of your position.  You are likely to be treated differently than the average person.

The key is how you decide to handle these privileges.  If you are a servant leader, you can’t differentiate yourself from your team.  The truth, in terms of servant leadership, is this:  You are part of the team and you just happen to be the leader.  You must stay in the trenches with your team.  You have to be willing to get dirty and do the work along side your people.  If you exalt yourself above your team and take advantage of your position, you have violated one of the key components of being a servant leader.

Special privileges with leadership must be used with caution.  You cannot hide.  They see everything you do.  Your heart is exposed by your actions.  Be careful.  Always.  They are watching you!

So what do you think?  Have you seen examples of folks taking advantage of special privileges in leadership positions?  Click on “leave a comment” and tell me what you think!

 

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About Joe Passkiewicz

Joe Passkiewicz is Vice President of LandSouth Construction and Lead Contributor of Leading By Serving, Leadership is for Everyone.

6 thoughts on “Punched in the Face!

  1. A line is a line. You wait in line at restaurants, checking out at grocery stores, and of course theme parks. Who is to say that one person is more deserving than another. We don’t know the whole story about the person standing there waiting.

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    • Thanks Cindy for the response. This post is not about waiting in line it’s about taking advantage of special privileges and leaders need to make sure they don’t fall into this trap. For instance, our congress exempted themselves from the provisions of Obamacare. They did it because they could. Same as taking cuts in the line. No chance for repercussions. We see it but we can’t really do anything about it. This is the rub. Do you agree?

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  2. Amen brother. He teaches us through you brother. And Servant Evangelism blesses us more than those we serve. The last shall be first. Love leading from ‘behind’. Bless you brother and sister.

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