Serve one another in love

Do you feel a calling to serve others, but also lead through compassion and wisdom? Do you want to enrich lives, develop better organizations, and create a more positive world? You may be a servant-leader!

Join us to learn about and share your experiences servant leadership. Each month, in conjunction with Servant-Leader Milwaukee, Concordia University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and the Office of Alumni Relations host the Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable. The meetings are held the second Thursday of the month,  from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. in the Lakeshore Room at the Mequon Campus. While the topic changes each month, the enduring theme of the roundtable is "the wisdom is in the room."

Upcoming Servant Leader Roundtables via Zoom

Contact Elizabeth Evans at 262-243-4283 or elizabeth.evans@cuw.edu for the information to join a meeting on Zoom.

Thursday April 14, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom

Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Awareness

“Awareness for the servant leader starts with an internal look, most often starting with the basic questions of life:

  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • Where am I going?
  • How will I get there?
  • What does success look like?
  • What are my morals, and where do I get them?

This is not to say that the servant leader has all the answers – rather that there is a continuing process of asking and answering them, of a movement between resolution and disturbance. “ Dave Shoff

Thursday May 12, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom

Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Persuasion Requires Dialogue

“Rather than simply directing employees to follow orders based on a rigid hierarchy, the servant leader relies on persuasion rather than coercion. In fact, skill at persuasion is one of the differentiating factors between a traditional authoritarian management structure and the service-driven approach. Persuasion involves one important component that orders don't: dialogue. When you engage with your employees on why something is a good idea for the team, and work with them to see how it benefits everyone, employees are more likely to develop the internal motivation required to complete the task effectively.” Thomas Smale

Thursday June 9, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom

Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Servant Leaders Conceptualize in Community

“According to Robert Greenleaf, conceptualization is a key characteristic of Servant Leadership. It is the ability to create a future-oriented concept that provides vision and mission. What is the result for employees? Finding purpose in their work. Conceptualization does not occur in a vacuum. Servant leaders invite ownership to help shape vision. In order to do that, servant leaders approach relationships on a long-term basis. True servant leaders do not use others to meet personal goals. Rather, they equip others to realize corporate goals.” Greg Anderson

Thursday July 14, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom

Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Stewardship of Power

“Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care – including power. In the workplace, power is of two kinds. The first kind is positional power. It’s the authority one derives from the organizational hierarchy and company rules. Positional power includes the formal power to give rewards and punishments. The second type of power is personal power. It comes from being seen by followers as knowledgeable or likable.

Servant-leaders don’t ignore either type of power, run from power or pretend they don’t have power when they do. They recognize that the ability to accomplish good things is a function of the power available to do so. At the same time, they are good stewards of that power.

Why is this important? Because people generally trust – and willingly follow – leaders who treat power as something to be used wisely in service to others.” Joe Iarocci

Thursday August 11, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom

Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Foresight Uses Insight to Lead to Innovation

“If we can become connected to the reality of the experience of people in our present, we may develop the skill of insight to visualize the needs of individuals and communities in the future. Then our insight can lead to innovation that serves.” (unknown)

What is servant leadership?

Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations, and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.

“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, not be further deprived?”  

Greenleaf, R. K. (1977/2002, p. 27). Servant-leadership: "A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness". Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.

Ten Principles of Servant Leadership

by Robert Greenleaf
  1. Listening - Traditionally, leaders have been valued for their communication and decision making skills. Servant-leaders must reinforce these important skills by making a deep commitment to listening intently to others. Servant-leaders seek to identify and clarify the will of a group. They seek to listen receptively to what is being said (and not said). Listening also encompasses getting in touch with one's inner voice, and seeking to understand what one's body, spirit, and mind are communicating.
  1. Empathy - Servant-leaders strive to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirit. One must assume the good intentions of coworkers and not reject them as people, even when forced to reject their behavior or performance.
  1. Healing - Learning to heal is a powerful force for transformation and integration. One of the great strengths of servant-leadership is the potential for healing one's self and others. In "The Servant as Leader", Greenleaf writes, "There is something subtle communicated to one who is being served and led if, implicit in the compact between the servant-leader and led is the understanding that the search for wholeness is something that they have."
  1. Awareness - General awareness, and especially self-awareness, strengthens the servant-leader. Making a commitment to foster awareness can be scary--one never knows that one may discover! As Greenleaf observed, "Awareness is not a giver of solace - it's just the opposite. It disturbed. They are not seekers of solace. They have their own inner security."
  1. Persuasion - Servant-leaders rely on persuasion, rather than positional authority in making decisions. Servant-leaders seek to convince others, rather than coerce compliance. This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model and that of servant-leadership. The servant-leader is effective at building consensus within groups.
  1. Conceptualization - Servant-leaders seek to nurture their abilities to "dream great dreams." The ability to look at a problem (or an organization) from a conceptualizing perspective means that one must think beyond day-to-day realities. Servant-leaders must seek a delicate balance between conceptualization and day-to-day focus.
  1. Foresight - Foresight is a characteristic that enables servant-leaders to understand lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision in the future. It is deeply rooted in the intuitive mind.
  1. Stewardship - Robert Greenleaf's view of all institutions was one in which CEO's, staff, directors, and trustees all play significance roles in holding their institutions in trust for the great good of society.
  1. Commitment to the Growth of People - Servant-leaders believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions as workers. As such, servant-leaders are deeply committed to a personal, professional, and spiritual growth of each and every individual within the organization.
  2. Building Community - Servant-leaders are aware that the shift from local communities to large institutions as the primary shaper of human lives has changed our perceptions and has caused a feeling of loss. Servant-leaders seek to identify a means for building community among those who work within a given institution.

Learn more

If you have questions about servant leadership, or would like to register for an upcoming roundtable at CUW, please contact Elizabeth Evans.