Acronym Model of SERVANT-Leadership® – Updated

SERVANT Leadership AcronymIt is time to update the Acronym Model of SERVANT-Leadership®. After 15+ years of research, dozens of authors and hundreds of principles, we created the first ever, comprehensive model of contemporary servant leadership. That was years ago. The intent was never to make this a changing model.

Yet, it is time to update the acronym. We’ve come to a point where so many leaders are so divisive that we need to call more attention to listening and compromise. While the original model included these attributes under “Needful”, we need to do more.

The original servant leadership model was: Selfless, Empathetic, Resolute, Virtuous, Authentic, Needful, and Thorough. Today, we update the SERVANT-leadership® acronym, replacing Needful with Nonpartisan. The new model is:


With the updated version, the model does not lose the principles within Needful. Nonpartisan still encompasses the concepts of Needfulness. Needful focused on the necessity of leaders to seek new ideas from anywhere, listening to others and remaining open to new concepts. Nonpartisan includes this approach.

Nonpartisan is often used in politics to describe someone who “reaches across the aisle” to their political opponents for a solution both parties support. Today, such leadership is rare and when it is found, it is usually a servant leader. The servant leaders in politics are the ones who recognize they serve more than special interests, more than their own party and even more than their own constituents. Servant leaders understand they must serve all stakeholders. Yet, the nonpartisan concept extends well beyond politics.

In business, a nonpartisan servant leader balances the need to make a profit for their own company, while sustaining reasonable profits for their vendors and partners. In churches, a nonpartisan servant leader recognizes the freedom of religion is supported not only for their own faith, but all faiths. And, in non-profits, a nonpartisan servant leader understands not only their constituents what the root-causes and driving forces upon them. Nonpartisan emphasizes deliberately seeking to understand opposing views, appreciate and respect those opposing views – even when the leader disagrees with those views.

It is time. Please help spread the word and share the newly revised model of SERVANT-leadership®. You can share this on…

Below is a video of founder, Ben Lichtenwalner summarizing the updated SERVANT-Leadership® Acronym:


Question: What do you think of the update? Do you think the replacement of Needful with Nonpartisan is needed? Add your comments below.


Picture of Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

1 thought on “Acronym Model of SERVANT-Leadership® – Updated”

  1. Alpheus Tladi Lelaka

    The servant leadership agronomy is a powerful tool. It is like a mirror through which you view yourself and make introspection/corrections

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