Servant Leaders: Superheroes that Change the World


I love superheroes. There are so many to choose from. Let’s hear a shout out for Wonder Woman who kicks serious butt. Her character and costume are empowering and bad-ass. However, I digress, let’s do a quick check on superhero characteristics and who they are:

  • Some live ordinary lives and had something extraordinary happen that gave them superpowers (think Peter Parker a/k/a Spiderman).

  • Some have gone through transformations that make them realize the awesome responsibility of their power (think Tony Stark a/k/a Ironman)

  • Some are born with superpowers that make them amazing (think Clark Kent a/k/a Superman)

  • Some are regular Joes that save the world (think Peter Quill a/k/a Star Lord - Guardians of the Galaxy)

  • Some were felonious evil-doers turned into do-gooders that we have come to love (think Gru, Despicable Me).

While these characters are in stories and movies and they do amazing deeds; we dream of them. Superheroes provide an escape. They become someone we dream of being. In reality, you probably know some real superheroes that are servant leaders.

“The servant leader is servant first . . . it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, serve first. Then conscious choice bring one to aspire to lead.” Robert Greenleaf

1. Some live ordinary lives and experienced something that changed them to do extraordinary things.

Mother Teresa: Through her faith, Mother Teresa dedicated her life to serving other people. Like other servant leaders, she had her critics from time to time, but there was no one who could question her motives behind her desire to help others. Also, she never sought personal recognition, though she insisted on significant changes and was not afraid to express opinions that others would hesitate to say. Eventually, many call her to become a saint, with a life that many people consider as a miracle.

2. Some have gone through transformations that bring a higher level of consciousness to their thinking (throwback to Maslow’s hierarchy level 5)

Martin Luther King: King did not always want to be the leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the US, but he just knew that there was a need for equality. By putting other people’s needs first, he was able to leave a lasting legacy, which proves that anyone can make a difference through a humble and serving perspective. Until today, some of King’s speeches are still listened to regularly, as people see them as having a ring of truth.