Servant Leaders Have a Tolerance for Imperfection

By MAGsays

ImperfectionTransparency coming straight at you! I suck at this. I expect much of everyone. I expect much of me.

And, unfortunately, my expectation gives very little wiggle room for imperfection. It’s an honest assessment of me … that has & does hurt my Team, my family, & friends.

One of the smartest people in the area of leadership … is none other than Robert K. Greenleaf. He wrote “The Servant as Leader.” And, in that book … here’s some pure gold … that always causes me to pause … and assess myself.

The interest in and affection for his followers which a leader has, and it is a mark of true greatness when it is genuine, is clearly something the followers “haven’t to deserve.” Great leaders, including “little” people, may have gruff, demanding, uncompromising exteriors. But deep down inside the great ones have empathy and an unqualified acceptance of the persons of those who go with their leadership. Acceptance of the person, though, requires a tolerance of imperfection. Anybody can lead perfect people — if there were any.”

Ouch. I fail. I am chief among sinners in this area.

Here are my question(s) for myself in this area:

  1. Are my kids permitted to mess up & fail? My wife? If yes, how can I better demonstrate my grace to them? Am I grateful that they extend me grace all the time?
  2. Do I expect that grace is only given to me? Do my words & actions convey this lie?
  3. If I want to be a great leader, am I willing to embrace the REALITY of people’s imperfections?
  4. What would my life look like, if I could see each person in my life … with “unqualified acceptance?”

No words to encourage you today. Just questions for me to consider. If I have helped you … or, you have identified with me … please let me know.


The Miles Advisory Group, Inc. (MAG) is a leader in church outsourcing. Through flexible and creative outsourcing solutions, MAG enables churches to focus on their ministry with greater clarity, further excelling their effectiveness and purpose, for the real reason of why they exist.

Bryan Miles is CEO & Co-founder of Miles Advisory Group and is blessed to run this company with his wife, Shannon. Prior to starting MAG, he worked for companies in the tech and construction industries including Cogun, Inc., a national church construction company as the VP of Consulting. Bryan obtained his B.A. in Business from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, OH. Bryan, Shannon and their daughter Rainey and son Harper attend church at the Browns Bridge Campus of North Point Community Church. Bryan also enjoys backpacking and mountain climbing. Learn more about Bryan.