Scripture: Mark 10:35-45
One day, in the course of a rambling lecture, my old professor made a statement along these lines: “There is a new problem in our country. We are becoming a nation that is dominated by large institutions — churches, businesses, governments, labor unions, universities — and these big institutions are not serving us well. I hope that all of you will be concerned about this. Now you can do as I do, stand outside and criticize, bring pressure if you can, write and argue about it. All of this may do some good. But nothing of substance will happen unless there are people inside these institutions who are able to (and want to) lead them into better performance for the public good. Some of you ought to make careers inside these big institutions and become a force for good — from the inside.”
It is part of the enigma of human nature that the “typical” person —immature, stumbling, inept, lazy —is capable of great dedication and heroism if wisely led. Many otherwise able people are disqualified to lead because they cannot work with and through the half-people who are all there are. The secret of institution building is to be able to weld a team of such people by lifting them up to grow taller than they would otherwise be.
—Servant Leadership, Robert K. Greenleaf
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