Long lasting systemic change takes a special kind leader. Vincentian leaders empower others. The real strength of a leader is the ability to elicit the strength of a group. This is the acid test of servant leadership. Therein lies a question for us. What have you done recently to empower someone with whom you work?
Maxwell suggests that two of the most important jobs of a leader are empowering people by sharing knowledge and resources, and motivating people to aspire to greater heights. He writes:
“Empowering is giving your influence to others for the purpose of personal and organizational growth…It’s seeing people’s potential, sharing your resources with them, and showing them you believe in them completely.” (2002, 77)
How did Vincent illustrate this in his life?
Vincent was adept at helping his followers realize their potential. He empowered them by sharing his knowledge and resources, inspiring them through mission, and giving them opportunities to lead organizations he helped to create.
According to those who knew him, Vincent was humble, yet full of zeal. He was able to inspire and encourage others to join him in his persona mission, despite the challenges.
Over the course of many years, Vincent was able to inspire both the rich and poor to join him in his work. To the Ladies of Charity, he said, “Put off your jewels and fine clothing. Visit the poor and treat them openly and respectfully as persons of quality, avoiding all stiffness. To spend money is good, but we have not really begun to serve the poor until we visit them personally.”
What have you done recently to empower someone with whom you work?
How often do you ask others on your team about how you can be of help to them?
In what ways do you see your leadership first as service?