Nair's ending comment reminded me of Randy Komisar's book, "The Monk and the Riddle," where he talks about living the "Whole Life Plan," instead of the "Deferred Life Plan." It is easy to get into the deferred mode, but I find it is not that hard to live my whole life plan. It may take a little time and effort, and we may need to plan so transitions may be skillful.
The idea of leadership being about service is not new, although it is perhaps the most forgotten idea. We find that Plato talks about it in "The Republic," when he talks about a good leader being one who protects those he/she is chosen to lead.
Leadership studies are strangely not well-known, with in-your-face charismatic leaders taking the limelight from the media. Yet, inspiring and lasting organizations have consistently shown servant leadership, be it SouthWest Airlines, Toyota, or Semco. Semco has in-fact instituted a model where those who are led will appoint their leader, a controversial upside-down practice that is really, in my mind, an enlightened practice.
Finally, my most inspiring manager was this man who would always ask me to work less and would try to make life easier for me whenever he met me. Every time he asked me to work less, I used to work double that of what I had planned - it was as if my heart couldn't control the joy and it had to find expression in creativity. And when I've had other managers who've had expectations on how much I should work, the heart has gone into a transaction mode.
Nipun writes about this phenomenon in this post. (read toward the end about affection)