Servant Leader Principle #6 – Conceptualization

Servant leaders dream great dreams. They must think beyond day-to-day realities

BSA NYLT Syllabus, module Servant Leadership
Looking out in the distance, dreaming big dreams

Most people get caught up into the present, the urgent, the fire waiting as you engage the group. Yet, the value of many leaders is to build on a larger base, to bring the best to reality.

Servant leaders seek to nurture their abilities to dream great dreams. The ability to look at a problem or an organization from a conceptualizing perspective means that one must think beyond day-to-day realities. For many leaders, this is a characteristic that requires discipline and practice. The traditional leader is consumed by the need to achieve short-term operational goals. The leader who wishes to also be a servant leader must stretch his or her thinking to encompass broader-based conceptual thinking. Servant leaders are called to seek a delicate balance between conceptual thinking and a day-to-day operational approach.

Larry Spears Character and Servant Leadership: Ten Characteristics of Effective, Caring Leaders

Conceptualization takes the external awareness principle and the listening principle, synthesizes the best from each, and places this vision in front of the group using persuasion.

I have found it best to take the time to reflect, to pause, or as Larry states, to engage discipline and practice to see past the immediate problems toward a good future solution. However, I have also presented a concept far beyond what the group is ready to engage, and found that patience is necessary to realize the goal – it becomes an indicator to me to step more into the operational aspects so I don’t get too “pie in the sky”. Balancing this tension is an important discipline of the servant leader.

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