We’ve all been there before…

A long day’s work, the commute home, the hurried rush to get out of your work clothes in the anticipation of sinking deeply into the cushions of your living room couch.

But how often does our rush for self-gratification, in any given circumstance, leave our loved ones needing something from us that we are all-to-easily willing to ignore?

As gentlemen, we are to consider the needs of others far greater than our own. We are to cast aside pleasure and luxury whenever appropriate in order to lead well in our relationships, and serve humbly those who have need.

In an increasingly demanding world, we are constantly tempted to abandon our gentlemanly duties and look inward for needs to serve instead of outwards. This is a temptation I implore you to guard yourself against.

There is no higher call of a gentleman than to serve eagerly, humbly, and unreservedly.

So how can we guard ourselves against this, and form habits of thought and of action that tend to the needs of others before our own?

There are various principles we can implement in our lives to help, and certainly each situation is unique and requires you to apply the tactics that work for you. But to get you started, I’ll detail out 3 possible areas for improvement below.

There is no higher call of a gentleman than to serve eagerly, humbly, and unreservedly. Click To Tweet

1.) Make realistic and achievable commitments

One of the first mistakes made by any well-intentioned gentleman is to over promise, and under deliver. You want to lead and serve well, so you stretch yourself too thin. An admirable thought process, indeed, but one that is only setting you up to disappoint those who may be trusting you to come through.

If you promise your son or daughter an hour of play time on Tuesday, but know you have the biggest presentation of the year coming up that Wednesday, you are already establishing a shaky foundation underneath that commitment. Instead, commit to 15 minutes of play time on Tuesday, and tell them you’ll spend 2 hours on Thursday night to make up for it! That is a great example of serving your child well, vs. the alternative of committing to that hour on Tuesday night, then blowing right through it with presentation prep because you made an unrealistic commitment to them.

By all means necessary, make realistic commitments that set you up to serve others well.

2.) Be engaged and attentive in your conversations

The benefits of this go far beyond the service of others. It’s something that gentlemen should always strive to do. But in this context, being engaged and attentive in your interactions is helpful because it helps commit important details to memory that normally would’ve gone unnoticed and resulted in your inability to serve. As you interact with others, pay attention to any details you observe that can help you to read their personality and tendencies. You can only serve someone to the degree that you understand what makes them feel valued.

You can only serve someone to the degree that you understand what makes them feel valued. Click To Tweet

Gentlemen, if you know that your wife’s least favorite household chore is doing the dishes, then by all means, scrub away! Consider your first action after coming home from work to be to clear the sink instead of turn on the TV! This will not only show your wife that you are attentive to her needs and want to bless her in ways that are the most meaningful to her, but it also displays your desire to serve her well. And that, good sirs, is what being a gentlemanly husband was always meant to be about.

3.) Practice even in the little things

If you can’t die to your needs in the line at the grocery store, then you certainly won’t be equipped to do it in the areas of true significance.

Practice putting others before yourself in all of your minor daily tasks and interactions, and you’ll find it becomes much easier in the more important facets of your life.

Do not misunderstand. A gentleman is a gentleman 100% of the time.

Do not misunderstand. A gentleman is a gentleman 100% of the time. Click To Tweet

If you implement the 3 principles outlined above, along with any number of “others-minded” values, you will be on a wonderful start towards serving well in your areas of influence.

So go, dear readers! Go and scrub like gentlemen!

Brandon Reed

Founding Member at The Distinguished Society of Fine Gentlemen
"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy." - Norman Schwarzkopf