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 Wisconsin Servant Leader, Concordia University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) hosts the . The meetings are held the second Thursday of the month, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Zoom. While the topic changes each month, the enduring theme of each roundtable is "the wisdom is in the room."

Upcoming Servant Leader Roundtables via Zoom

Thursday November 9, 2023 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom

Topic: Servant Leaders Move Beyond Compliance

"Compliance is not commitment. Compliance does not lead to creativity, flexibility, differentiation, and speed. Compliance does not create meaning and purpose. Compliance does not breed freedom."

Kent Keith, The Case for Servant Leadership, 2015.

Thursday December 14, 2023 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom

Topic: Empowerment Arises out of High-trust Cultures

Stephen Covey said in Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, you’ve got to produce more for less, and with greater speed than you ever had to before. The only way you can do that in a sustained way is through the empowerment of people. The only way you get empowerment is through high-trust cultures and empowerment philosophy which turns bosses into servants and coaches.

Kent Keith, The Case for Servant Leadership, 2015.

Thursday, January 11, 2024 from 7:30 to 8:30am on Zoom

Topic: Creating a Climate in which Employees Can be Authentic

“A major aspect of servant leadership is acceptance of others; by creating an environment where everyone feels accepted, it helps create a "psychological ethical climate" that allows employees to be authentic and not fear judgment from leadership for being themselves. It encourages a forgiving and understanding attitude that allows employees to make mistakes, learn from their mistakes, and channel that into personal and professional growth in the organization.”

Sarah White, 2022

Thursday, February 8, 2024 from 7:30 to 8:30am on Zoom

Topic: Inspiring Others to Service

“The servant leader inspires others to service. A servant leader knows she can't do it all alone--and frankly, she wouldn't want to if she could. A servant leader wants to work with and for others. To do so, then, the leader must be able to inspire those she serves to serve others.”

Jenette Nagy

Thursday, March 14, 2024 from 7:30 to 8:30am on Zoom

Topic: Servant Leaders Delegate

“To inspire, a servant leader gauges each situation and responds to each individually. When appropriate, she will pass over the reins to someone whose leadership style is more appropriate to the situation--she works with people's strengths. A good leader understands when she is not necessarily the best person for the job; she knows her strengths as well as her weaknesses, and can gracefully pass on opportunities best suited to other individuals.”

Jenette Nagy

Thursday, April 11, 2024 from 7:30 to 8:30am on Zoom

Topic: Servant Leaders Are Open to Improvement

“Start where people are. The servant leader is not closed minded. He will do his best to convince others to see things his way; that much is true. However, the servant leader listens and learns from his constituents. He is open to improvement. So, if he is convinced that the other is right, he will gracefully accede to the other's suggestion.“

Jenette Nagy

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.