ServanthoodBy: Jen Hale, Stevens Family Member
"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank-you. In between, the leader is a servant."
-- Max de Pree
As I grew up I began working in OPEX’s HR department. One of my favorite tasks was to help plan company lunches that happened each month. As we would order the food and prepare for the lunch I was always amazed at how many people wanted to help. Whether it was picking up the food, going to the store to buy food if we were having a cookout, or setting up tables, there was never a shortage of help. It also struck me that we never had any problems finding managers to serve the food. Any time we would ask the answer was always “yes.”
Not only was this something that the managers loved to do, it sometimes was quite entertaining for all of us to watch! Some were better than others. However, their attitudes were always positive. It was humbling to watch and was yet another reminder of how thankful I was to work somewhere where managers loved to serve those who worked for them.
As I have grown up, moved away, and worked for other organizations, I have realized how essential this corporate value is. It forces all of us to look past our selfishness and serve those around us at work, in our community, and in our homes. If we cultivate the value of servanthood to those around us, normal people will do extraordinary things. I am thankful to have watched, and continue to watch, this trait grow at OPEX.