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The Servant Leader سيد القوم خادمهم

Growing up in the Middle East where egos compete and pride is a big part of the culture, I had the privilege of having an amazing, accomplished, progressive, and humble man for a father.

My dad was fond of Arabic proverbs, he always read books about them, researched them and was able to talk, for hours, about the wisdom, and sometimes paradox that lies within those short phrases.

One proverb that he always repeated was "سيد القوم خادمهم" which literally means "The leader of a tribe is their servant".

When I started my career I was not the nicest or most compassionate human being. My accomplishments and my self-proclaimed smartness made me cocky and egotistic. Starting my career as a Manager with one of the largest fashion brands did not help either, and watching my ego inflate, my dad always reminded me of the wisdom behind that proverb.

As the years passed and I grew up personally and professionally I started exploring and adopting the servant style of leadership. It was the best thing I have done in my life; not because it made me more popular but because there was a huge level of satisfaction that arose from it. I was happy to serve people, I discovered a new definition for being, existing and evolving. People around me were more ready to share their knowledge with me, they were willing to challenge me, which is something I love! Colleagues became friends and the workplace a community that supported me not only in my career evolution but also in the ups and downs I had in my life.

Many of you here, on LinkedIn and my other social accounts, are actual friends, people I grew up with and learned from, people who taught me and exchanged knowledge with me, people who still cheer for me and support me.

I am ever so grateful to each and every one of you for being a part of my journey. I am lucky to have people like you in my life, and above all, I am fortunate to have a father who still reminds me every time I call him, that the leader of a tribe is their servant.

سيد القوم خادمهم

Photo by Ryan Cheng on Unsplash