Servants by example

charleyalchrismissyI met Charley on my first day of high school. Standing outside the door to our Spanish classroom, I was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt and he was carrying a Star Wars book (or vise-versa, I really can’t remember anymore). It was nerdy-friendship at first sight. I met Al (Alexis, we all used to call her Al) at church youth group shortly thereafter. We three spent a lot of time together those four years at church events, high school classes, and after school shenanigans; you couldn’t have asked for better friends. Al and Charley got married shortly after Missy and I did back in 2004. They chose to donate a kidney each, first Charley, then Alexis. They are the only married couple in America to have done so.

To my mind, these two epitomize the “servant” portion of “Servant-Leadership” (for more on SL, visit Christ led by serving: that is the foundation of the leadership model. While donating a kidney might not directly correlate to workplace activities, I can’t imagine that a comparison can’t be drawn from that selfless act to valuing employees.

Giving of yourself to an anonymous person who desperately needs your help might take the concept of Servant-Leadership to an extreme that many people are unwilling to consider, but I urge you to think on what you are willing to give of yourself to the people who look to you for guidance.

This from Alexis: “Australia has around 300 non-altruistic kidney donors a year and the US around 6,000. So based on populations there are about as many donors in both countries. And that’s not enough but numbers in both countries are on the rise as awareness and education spread. Australia doesn’t have kidney chains, just direct swaps, so Charles being able to explain how it works will hopefully open some doors too.”

Philippians 2: 3-4 (NIV): Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

True to their sense of self-deprecating humor, Alexis also adds this: “…now that we have done a few interviews I think our stage names of twitchy (I never know what to do with my hands or face) and zombie (Charles has the opposite problem) are solidified.”

Please take a moment to watch the video here:

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