Servant leadership is so impactful, yet many people think of leadership as a means of control and exercising power, sometimes in inappropriate ways. Power used in the wrong way is very destructive, people are bullied, there is a culture of fear and guilt. In the short term, things may appear to be working, but over time, the decay and decline sets in.
I would like to dedicate this blog to my colleague and dear friend Rev Jerry W Paul – Founder of the Deaconess Foundation. Jerry practiced servant leadership. He was my mentor, teacher and coach. Jerry had a deep thirst for learning and continuous development and encouraged that in me. There is a book for everything and Jerry had a way of finding the book that I needed for my teachable moments.
It was Jerry who supported me as I set up my first leadership consultancy trip in the States after I went freelance in 2005. He guided me in how to use learning from the field to enhance organisations and the individuals within them. Jerry was larger than life. His sense of humour was second to none. There was never a dull moment when this really smart and humble man was in a room. Sadly Jerry left the shores of this world last week. Much too early in my opinion. He shall be missed by his family, friends and colleagues. Jerry was unique. He was larger than life and he has left a deep hole behind.
For me, I shall cling onto his legacy. He was a great leader, kind, caring, nurturing, intelligent, wise, smart and compassionate. With his gentle personality and presence he touched many lives and empowered many organisations. I am so thankful I got to meet this amazing man.
I thank another dear friend, Carol Weisman for introducing me to Jerry many years ago. A man who inspired, guided and supported. He will not be forgotten.