Behavior 1: Serve First


“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”

The need for authority is all too frequent in today’s society. Whether it is in work culture, outside hobbies or personal relationships, the need to be bigger and better than those around us is a common thread that this first behavior can put to rest.

Influence, not authority, is key.


When we lead by influencing others, we take our ego out of the equation. Our focus is not on what we can gain, but on what we can provide others, how we can add value to someone’s life and their experience of it.

Take a moment today or this week and find time to put others first, to serve them. Whether it’s in a business meeting or in a coffee shop line, let others go before you. Let them share their ideas and add value to the conversation instead of expressing authority. Take a step back.

Think about this “serve first” quote from Art Barter, “It’s the contribution you make each day, a commitment to serve one person at a time by one action at a time.”


Erin Joyce
Social Media Consultant for Servant Leadership Institute