As we analyze the reasons that agents & brokers give for determining which real estate company to align with, statistics clearly support the importance of company culture as one of the primary factors.
While we understand the value & importance of culture, we sometimes struggle in adequately defining and articulating exactly what that culture is.
At Fathom Realty, Founder & CEO Josh Harley, made the decision early on to use a verse from the Bible, specifically the Gospel of Matthew chapter 20 and verse 26, to establish the foundational cornerstone of Servant Leadership for the company's culture:
"Whoever would be great among you must be your servant."
In order for us to fully grasp the meaning & principles contained in this verse, it would be helpful for us to understand the greater context of this passage.
It really begins back in verse 17 where Jesus takes His disciples aside for a teaching moment, and foretells of His pending death:
"See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."
Our understanding of Servant Leadership begins with Jesus predicting his own horrific death on a Roman cross, offering us the ultimate example of servant-hood by the act of sacrificing his very life for others.
The narrative is interrupted by a request from the mother of James and John, who does what most Moms do, by advocating for the best interests of her kids.
"Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom"
The mother of the Sons of Zebedee obviously wanted to ensure that her boys had positions of importance, prestige, and power when Jesus ushered in His kingdom. What mother doesn't want the best for her children?
Jesus responded, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?"
Interestingly, James and John, along with their advocating Mom, answer in concert, "We are able!"
This prospect of having a place of honor and pre-eminence was an attractive proposition to the two brothers and earned their hearty approval! However, the idea didn't sit so well with the other disciples, who became incensed and indignant as a result.
Jesus then goes on to explain and contrast the difference of Kingdom Culture versus a Worldly Culture:
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave."
The desire for leadership is an admirable pursuit, as long as one has the proper motives and focus. Unfortunately for James and John, their selfish focus was on themselves, what was in it for them, how they would benefit. As with the leaders and 'great' ones of that day, they were consumed with the allure of being in a position of power and authority over others.
Jesus tells us that true leadership is achieved by selflessly focusing on serving the needs of others. If one truly desires to be 'great' in God's economy, the primary calling is one of servant-hood, or quite literally, becoming a 'slave' to others. The Greek word for slave is diakonos which conveys the idea of an eager, pro-active anticipation and fulfilling of the needs of others.
At Fathom Realty, one of the primary core tenets of our culture is Servant Leadership, a collective commitment where we focus our attentions and energies on effectively serving the needs of others - our clients, our communities, and our fellow agents & brokers.
This section of Scripture concludes with Jesus' words, "Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to give his life as a ransom for many."