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 for the information to join a meeting on Zoom.

All quotes are from The Servant As Leader (Contemporary edition), 2016, by Kent M Keith, editor

Thursday January 14, 2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Reflection and Withdrawal
"Personal growth will always require time for reflection and withdrawal. In the heat of constant activity which is often controlled by our mind, a powerful instrument, we can miss nuance, beauty and regeneration. . . Withdrawing . . is a tool to access intuitive wisdom." (p. 50)

Thursday February 11,  2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Listening Beyond Our Own Experience
"Greenleaf thought of listening as transformational. You can be transformed by really listening. So on a personal level that means not analyzing the experience of others. Just because they may not be your experiences does not mean they are not true. It just means they are outside of your experience. Listening then allows for the transformation. It means “do not judge until you have walked a mile in another’s shoes.” Unless you have done so, the only way you can serve well and ethically is through the active process of listening." (p. 42)

Thursday March 11,  2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Awareness and Perception
"Open wide your perception so that you are aware of more sensory data and other signals from the environment. Awareness has its risks but it makes life more interesting . . . when you are aware, you are more alert, more intensely in contact with the immediate situation. You are able to store away more information that can be used in the future to produce intuitive insights when you need them." William Blake said that “if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything will appear to man as it is, infinite.” (p.74)

Thursday April 8, 2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Foresight and Intuition
"The leader needs to have a sense for the unknowable and be able to foresee the unforeseeable. The leader knows some things and foresees some things which her colleagues or followers do not know or foresee as clearly. . .foresight and intuition are crucial, because the leader never has enough information to make a good decision. If you wait too long, the situation will change and you will have to start all over, gathering new information. That is the dilemma you face if you are a hesitant decision maker." (p. 61)

Thursday May 13,  2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Search for Wholeness
"Greenleaf knew that we each have potential for greatness, and our shadows live on the flip side of that greatness. Ann McGee-Cooper put it like this: “Our shadows are our strengths we are wearing wrong-side-out.” Greenleaf believed that servant-leaders have a responsibility to go inward and uncover those shadows- and there is not only a responsibility but an “implicit compact between the servant-leader and led” that they share this search for wholeness." (p. 105)

Thursday June 10,  2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: People Change Society
The future society may be just as mediocre as this one. It may be worse. And no amount of restructuring or changing the system or tearing it down will change this. There may be a better system than the one we now know. It is hard to know. But whatever it is, if we do have the people who can lead it well, a between system will not produce a better society. . . The only way to change a society is to produce people, enough people, who will change it. (p. 134)

Thursday July 8,  2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Energy through Helping Others
The happiest people I know are busy loving and helping others. That gives them a lot of meaning and purpose in their lives. It keeps them young, motivated and energized. Some people seem to think that servant-leaders live stoic, dutiful lives of self-denial. The servant-leaders I know are living joyful lives. In serving and healing others, we are healed, we are fulfilled, we are made whole. (p. 104)

Thursday August 12,  2021 7:30am to 8:30am Central Time
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Community to Institution
Trust and respect are the highest in communities where people are truly committed to each other. Trust, respect, and ethical behavior are difficult for the young to learn and for the old to maintain when there is no community. Living in community can generate an exportable surplus of love which the individual may carry into his many involvements with institutions which are usually not communities: Businesses, churches, governments, schools. (p. 109)

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.