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Reflections on Serving 10,000 People

On the last weekend of April in 2017 I attended Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within event for the second time, not as an attendee but at a crew member.  
 
During a very charged high- energy four days, it is the crew who help run the event.  

They are made up of a group of volunteers  like me except this year, I had the honour of being Usher captain.
 
To be an Usher Captain is a leadership role.  It is  responsible for supporting a group of volunteers whose job it is to ensure that participants have the best experience possible.  

There are so many people at these events and for the crew, being there for over 10,000 people is both challenging and life changing for many many reasons.
 
All the crew, new and experienced stepped up to this task, under trying and demanding conditions.  They gave their all to ensure all thousands of people had the experience of their lifetime.
 
The most important element of the Usher role is that you are there to serve.  You do so with zero expectations, but you maintain  standards so that everyone can see what is expected of them.
 
Leadership comes in many forms and this was Servant Leadership.

Servant Leadership is something that I feel comfortable with. My definition of Servant Leadership is to lead without ego, and with the focus on serving your fellow human beings, helping them to become the best leaders they can be.  
 
Here is what I learnt...

  • Delegate to empower: I found that when I lead from a place  of empowering the crew and giving them the space to make their own decisions they all stepped up, even when they believed they couldn’t.?
  • Unconditional Backing: When I gave them unconditional backing I was able to demonstrate that delegation  does not mean abdication. I let them know that I have their back and would be there for them .?
  • Be Part of the Team: I might be in a leadership role but I am still be part of the team.   It is easy as a leader, to just sit back and observe.  However it was clear to me that the team became stronger when they saw me in amongst them doing what needed to be done..?
  • Constant communication:  the room was vast and with 10,000 people to usher it was very easy to get lost in communication. I wanted to ensure that I was in communication with them all the time. It was important to empower the individual team leaders,to lead their teams in their style, and they did just that?
  • Have Fun: it was an  especially important task as volunteers,to fun.

Looking at the definitions of Servant Leadership, Robert K. Greenleaf, in his book The Servant as Leader defined it as...

"The servant-leader is servant first... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions...The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature."

This could not be a better description of what I was feeling and thinking when I choose to volunteer

Baiju Solanki

Baiju Solanki

Founder & CEO EnSpirit Global


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