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 January 13, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Listening

“Servant leadership reminds us of the importance of listening, and the practice of mindfulness. Listening allows us to look within ourselves and become aware of the barriers that inhibit our ability to listen effectively. It helps us discern information that leads to understanding, rather than judgment, which in turn leads to derision. We all have personal biases and prejudices even if we’d like to believe otherwise. Listening helps us serve by exposing prejudices that filter select words, warp messages, and prevent us from considering another point of view. I had a great teacher who once said she loved to discover a prejudice because then she could work to overcome it. I deeply admire this mindset because it accepts the fact that we don’t always listen, we’re not always open-minded, yet we have the power to consciously change how we listen and interact with others.”
Jessica Zisa

Thursday February 10, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Empathy

“Empathy is a key practice for the servant leader – and also a responsibility. It entails truly feeling the emotions of the other person and doing so without judgment and criticism. You’ve felt it…how it opens your heart and pulls forth emotion. How it creates a strong bond and strengthens understanding between the people communicating. The definition of empathy is the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another. For some, this skill comes naturally while others must work to develop it. Within business, empathy starts one person at a time, flowing outward until this loving practice carries ripples of energy to others, growing and expanding throughout the organization.”
Jenny Young

Thursday March 10, 2022 from 7:30am to 8:30am on Zoom
Concordia Servant Leader Roundtable
Topic: Healing

"Healing Is Serving: A Powerful Force for Change. Today, more than ever, we need servant leaders who have developed the capacity to heal and who have accepted their obligation to "help make others whole." Exceptional servant leaders seek to create wholeness (healing) on multiple levels: within themselves, through relationships with others and in service to the larger organizational & societal systems. Servant leaders understand that healing and wholeness is an elusive, dynamic, and never-ending pursuit. They don't envision it as a destination or end point - it is a search that never stops. The journey metaphor for healing and wholeness is appropriate because the journey is where the greatest amount of learning takes place. Because the journey towards healing and wholeness is a lifelong pursuit, one must understand that he or she will most likely never get there, but may pave the way for others to follow by their example. Are you healing and serving by paving the way? “
Thomas Griffin

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.