The Servant Leader Approach to a Happy Marriage

Servant Leader MarriageServant Leadership is a long standing approach in business and while many people don’t like to think of their marriage as a business, the business of living your marriage vows is a most serious undertaking.

“The Servant as Leader” by Robert K. Greenleaf explains the difference between power-based leadership and servant based leadership. An extreme difference between these types of leaders would be if you were to consider Vlad-the-Impaler versus Gandhi. It is probably pretty easy to guess which one your spouse would be the happiest leading with.

Ask Yourself:

→ What would becoming a Servant-Leader in your marriage look like and feel like for both of you?

→ Would you lose something you value or would you gain something much greater for your efforts?

Here is the Ten Principles of Servant Leadership By Robert Greenleaf.

I’ve added some tips on how to apply them to marriage. I highly suggest you give them an honest effort to see how they will work in your marriage:

♥ Listening – Make every attempt to understand your partner by using active listening skills. Then seek to be understood.

♥ Empathy – Accept your partner and assume his or her good intentions. If you must criticize, focus on the action and not on belittling or putting down your spouse. An example would be “When you forget to call me when you are late, I worry.” Versus, “You are an inconsiderate human being for not taking one minute to call or text to let me know you are late.”

♥ Healing – This goes back to your wedding vows. If your words and actions are loving, honoring, respecting and cherishing, you offer a stable and healing environment for your spouse. This world can be brutal and everyone needs that type of healing sanctuary to turn to.

♥ Awareness – Self awareness and the pursuit of self perfection will serve both you and your marriage. When you are each working on that type of awareness, with your vows in mind, miracles can happen.

♥ Persuasion – Agree to pursue Win-Win decision making instead of demanding, coercing or manipulating. “My way or the highway” is never attractive and especially not in marriage.

♥ Conceptualization – Dream together. That’s what you did in the honeymoon phase and sure, now you must also attend to the daily grind. Never leave your spouse in the grind though; they deserve to remain in the dreams.

♥ Foresight – Is about keeping the future in mind and putting what you want most for your marriage and family over what you may want today instead. Sure, you have separate work and interests, keep your marriage first and allow your individual lives to enhance your marriage, not separate it.

♥ Stewardship – Assume 100% accountability for your marriage because the 50/50 style is half assed. Your spouse is equally as responsible for his or her 100%. Realize you are taking care of this marriage for your spouse and your entire family and protect it from outside influences.

♥ Commitment to the Growth of People – Encourage and support personal, professional, and spiritual growth of each other. The better you become as individuals, the better your marriage and family will also become.

♥ Building Community – The marriage is the Board of Trustees for your family. Use your strong marriage to build a strong family and provide a legacy that the generations to follow will love to have been a part of.

♥ Taking some time to consider these Servant Leadership traits and how they can enhance your efforts at living your vows could take your marriage to new heights of fulfillment and happiness for both of you. If you need help or want an accountability partner to coach you along, I am just an email away.

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2 thoughts on “The Servant Leader Approach to a Happy Marriage

  1. When it comes to winning and losing, I think there are three kinds of marriages. In the first kind of marriage, both spouses are competing to win, and it’s a duel to the death. Husbands and wives are armed with a vast arsenal, ranging from fists, to words, to silence. These are the marriages that destroy. Spouses destroy each other, and, in the process, they destroy the peace of their children. In fact, the destruction is so complete that research tells us it is better for children to have divorced parents than warring parents. These marriages account for most of the fifty percent of marriages that fail, and then some. The second kind of marriage is ripe with winning and losing, but the roles are set, and the loser is always the same spouse. These are the truly abusive marriages, the ones in which one spouse dominates, the other submits, and in the process, both husband and wife are stripped of their dignity. These are the marriages of addicts and enablers, tyrants and slaves, and they may be the saddest marriages of all.

    • I agree Eli. In a TRUE marriage, both partners are equal and while they may argue, they have respect and value each other’s feelings the same as their own.

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