"But I did not want to do anything without
your consent, so that any favor you do would
not seem forced but would be voluntary" - Philemon 14.
One of the key characteristics of servant leadership is influence, leadership's ability to direct people under their care through persuasion and patience. Paul could have ordered the man in this verse to do the right thing, but he appealed to him, wanting the man to consent from free will. Influence cannot just happen, but must stem from a credible and established relationship between the influencer and the followers. If leaders only show up when they need something, the followers will feel manipulated and the influence process will not work.
LEADERSHIP STEP: How are your relationships with those whom you are asking to follow you? Do you know their birthdays? What it is that motivates them to work or minister? Your step today is to assess your relationship with each follower, giving it a score of 1 (poor) to 5 (great). Then set dates to visit each team member twice over the next month, just to talk over lunch or at their work station. The goal is to build a better relationship with them than you have now.