At work, yesterday afternoon, my boss dropped a surprising ‘bomb’ on all of us in her department. She informed us she had accepted another job, in another state and her last day would be next Thursday. My first reaction was shock, then despair. You see, this boss, this woman, this person is unlike any boss I have ever had. She not only teaches but lives by the philosophy of servant leadership. In a nutshell, servant leadership is a way of leading others with a desire to serve in helping others and identifying and meeting the needs of colleagues, customers and communities.
Never, in all my years of work, have I EVER had a boss who even thought, let alone demonstrated a ‘servant heart.’ All the bosses, of my past, have either put themselves front and center, used intimidation tactics and threats to get those under them to complete tasks, micro-managed because they couldn’t give up control, gossiped about not only vendors and customers but also past employees, were highly critical especially when things weren’t ‘perfect’ in their eyes, and played the blame game because they were too shallow to take responsibility. As a result, I grew to loath the jobs I held, had no motivation to go beyond what was expected of me and ended up doing the bare minimum just to get through the day.
Yet, with my current boss, I would walk over hot coals if she asked!! Ok, maybe not hot coals, but every day I go into work, I am willing to help out where ever I can. She possesses the spirit to motivate, makes me feel part of the team, helps me accept failure, makes me laugh OUT LOUD every day and approaches things she wants me to change with an awareness of how to tell me so I don’t take her critique personally. She is one of a kind for sure.
So, on the way home yesterday, I was feeling very melancholy. It is hard after being treated like a human being and not a machine, not to have somewhat of a brokenness knowing the person who has been so influential is following her dream and leaving those she inspired behind. However, I know everything will be ok, not only for her but also for those of us who will need to step up to the plate, and take on more responsibility. How do I know? Yesterday…well yesterday…
As I was driving, I noticed a dark cloud right smack dab in the middle of the sky. As I approached a stop light, I noticed something else. In the middle of the ominous cloud was another cloud, one of pure white, one shaped like a heart. I blinked once, then twice thinking no way I am seeing what has been placed in front of my eyes. As the light changed and I moved forward, I periodically peeked up to see if the heart was still there. It was. At the next stop light, my eyes soaked it in. At that moment, I knew, no matter how difficult my bosses’ leaving or who her replacement will be, everything will be okay…everything…if I just believed. And in an instant, I did.
However, I came to a stretch of road where my eyes were diverted from the sky causing me to pay attention to the cars in front of me. I kept driving, not catching a moment to peek at the sky till traffic came to a stand still due to some construction. When I was abruptly stopped in the jam of cars, I glanced upward once more. But, the heart, visible moments before, had disappeared. I could not believe it!!! There was no sign at all that it existed. It was as if God awed me to disbelieve, left His heart till I believed, then POOF! took it back so I would remain struck with His wonder, demonstrating in only the way He can, of helping me move through the doubt, the uncertainty and the bit of angst I was feeling.
Next Thursday, my boss will turn the page into another chapter of her life. And those of us, who don’t wish to see her go, will need to mirror the servant heart she has shown, not only in wishing her luck for her future but also in welcoming whomever is chosen to take her place.
Thank you K for bestowing the gifts of your servant heart. You have touched my life far more than you will ever know resulting in a room in my heart where you will always be remembered.
Blessings for your new journey,