Give, Love, Accept
Jennifer Evans, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Jenerosity Foundation talks to Stout about the life changing power of putting others first.
Jennifer Evans, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Jenerosity Foundation, is a humanitarian, keynote speaker and Host of The Jenerosity Show, where she interviews extraordinary people that are making a positive impact around the globe. Her life’s purpose is to serve by educating and inspiring people around the globe to “Give, Love & Accept your way to a Happier & Healthier life.”
Describe a servant leader and what are its advantages?
I believe the main goal of a servant leader is to serve those around them whenever they see an opportunity, whether it be for a person of seniority or a subordinate. Treating everyone as an equal with a goal to be of service to them whether it be your employee, your boss, your mother, the rude person that dropped their phone in the grocery store line, or homeless person that is hungry at the stop sign.
The advantages to being a servant leader is that you don’t take things personally as you believe that everyone else is more important than you and act that way. When you have this belief it is a pleasure letting someone cut in front of you in traffic, giving compliments to the janitor and the CEO, letting your co-worker get the credit for something you assisted them with. When you put yourself last you experience a different level of peace and joy.
True service is about helping the person in front of you, working hard and checking your ego at the door.
Do you consider yourself to be one, and if so, how?
I pride myself on being a servant leader. When I wake up in the morning I thank God and ask him to use me as a vessel and give me opportunities to serve and allow him to work through me today. As I navigate the day I am consciously listening and looking for the opportunities that present themselves for me to serve, and then I act on them.
I realize now that sometime a “disruption in plans” is actually God moving things around to give me a blessing to serve. I used to get upset or frustrated when things or events didn’t go as planned and now I accept every situation as I chose it and look for the opportunity to serve.
Who/What (people and/or tools) has helped you develop your leadership skills in this area most?
I learned to be a servant leader from billionaire philanthropists Bill and Tani Austin of Starkey Hearing Foundation. They taught me what true service is about, helping the person in front of you, working hard and checking your ego at the door. They could be on a beach everyday but choose to work all day everyday caring for people in need. Mr. Austin has fit many famous people with hearing aids from, Mother Theresa to Jonny Depp and I witness time after time that he treats a child with no shoes in Africa the same as when he is fitting the President of the United States. This is the best example of servant leadership that I have ever seen.
What do you wish others knew about becoming a servant leader?
Read the book The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma. You can be a servant leader by having certain skills and attitudes that allow you to rise to extraordinary success, not matter what your role is within an organization. I read this book when I was the Assistant to Mrs. Austin at Starkey Hearing Foundation and believe these skills and attitudes is what helped me work my way to eventually be promoted as Director of International Programs.
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Photos courtesy of Jenerosity Foundation.