Posted in Leadership

My All-Time Favorite Leader-as-a-Servant Story

It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t able to keep one of my English books from when I was in Grade 5 or 6. It was there that I read this story:

Many years ago, a classroom full of royal children was informed by their teacher that they will have a visitor that morning. Shortly after she had spoken, an older, distinguished looking gentleman appeared at the door. As soon as he stepped into the threshold, the man gave a deep bow towards the children.

The teacher was surprised at their visitor’s action; more so the students who, though of royal bearing, weren’t used to being acknowledged in that manner.

The teacher, though on good terms with the visitor, politely asked him, “Why did you do that?”

In a quiet tone, the distinguished looking gentleman replied, “I don’t ever want to miss the opportunity to pay my respects to the future king or queen, who any of these children could become, while I still can.”

I have read many textbooks and many more stories thereafter, but none has ever struck me in the same way as this one did. Aside from its aching simplicity, the values therein – humility and respect – are as applicable today as they were ‘many years ago.’

First published: 27 March 2012