Servant Leadership Observer – April 2011

Servant leadership news from Africa, recent studies and military perspectives combined with events from Indiana to Texas this month.

Servant Leadership NewsServant leadership news abounded this month. Once again, Africa seems to be leading that charge. Meanwhile, new studies and military perspectives shined among the blog posts. There are also upcoming events from the Greenleaf center in Indiana and Net Weavers in Texas. As always, please send me your feedback on The Modern Servant Leader.

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Topics: News | Events | Blogs |

NEWS Bad Choices, Bad Outcome: Warren Stages Mock Accident
This is an excellent example of the contributions of servant leadership clubs. Members of the Highland Community College (Warren, IL) Servant Leadership Program saw a “growing trend among their peers of texting and other distractions while driving. They decided to conduct a ‘distracted driving’ mock accident and a mock trial…”

Columbia Daily Tribune: Council: New City Manager Was Easy Choice
The new City manager of Columbia, MO is the former Assistant City Manager of Des Moines, IA. Mike Matthes explains his commitment to and intent to practice servant leadership.

The Setonian: Seton Hall Students Value Public Service
Among the highlights of Seton Hall’s Public Service month events were servant leadership achievements and the recognition of student servant leader awards.

Clarksville Online: Currahee Soldiers Learn Aspects of Resiliency
In the Paktika Province, Afghanistan, Task Force Currahee, 4th Brigade Combat Team, of the 101st Airborne Division, holds a three-day, semimonthly course. The course includes a section on servant leadership:  “Servant leadership is based on a mentorship and role-model concept,” said (U.S. Army Sgt. Randy) Loushin. “A servant leader is more like a father figure; they mentor their Soldiers, train them in a side-by-side method, and show that they care for them, thus gaining their trust and respect.”

Columbus State University: New Endowed Chairs Bolster Servant Leadership, Military History
The newly endowed, Frank Brown Distinguished Chair in Servant Leadership, has been funded anonymously in honor of CSU President Emeritus Frank Brown. Brown had several great perspectives on servant leadership, including: “We drink from wells we have not dug,” and, “We rest in the shade of trees we did not plant” – to stress “the need we all have to repay society for the benefits we have received.”

Douglas County Sentinel: Rotarians Learn of Servant Leadership
Another great example of business success from servant leadership principles was presented here. Retired Lockheed Martin executive, Mickey Blackwell “said he used servant leadership principles when he was asked by Lockheed to take over the leadership of the F-22 program, which was losing competitively to Northrop Grumman… Lockheed won the $12 billion contract, the largest defense contract ever at that time.”

News and Tribune: Leading by Example – Leadership Documentary
Tim McDonald, an educator from New Washington High School, in Jeffersonville, IN, produced a video documentary in conjunction with his leadership thesis. McDonald describes those featured as “featured as, ‘people who had been in very tenuous situations, but thought of others before thinking of themselves.'” These individuals included former U.S. Army Maj. Jeff Struecker, whose story was featured in “Black Hawk Down”; Carl Wilkens, the former head of Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda; a former U.S. Army Psychologist, Col. Larry James; Terry Waite, who helped negotiate the release of hostages in Iran and Libya, and who was himself taken as a hostage in Beirut, in 1987 enduring nearly five years in confinement and torture; and Bob Russell, the former senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church.

Texas A&M: Time For His Peers
In a student spotlight, Texas A&M highlights Dilim Nwobu, the Resident Assistant (RA), peer teacher in the Department of Engineering and president of the school’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). It’s clear Nwobu is well educated on servant leadership and a shining example of the emerging workforce’s contribution to the servant leadership movement.


Greenleaf Center: Greenleaf Center Retreat
From “Taking time out of a day for ourselves is something that can seem impossible. With work projects, children’s activities and home chores, there is just no time to reflect and renew ourselves. Participating in the Greenleaf Center Retreat is one way to achieve the renewal and reflection time we all need.” April 30th to May 1st.

CEO Netweavers:Servant Leadership Conference
April 29 at the Houston City Club in Houston, Texas. Topics will include “The Female Servant Leader”, “The Spirit of Healthcare”, “Revolutionizing Community Spirit”, “Governance and Servant Leadership” and more.

Academy for Leadership Excellence: Living as a Servant Leader: The True Essence of Leadership
In Raleigh, NC, James C. Hunter will speak about Servant Leadership: “Servant Leadership is a values and relational-based approach to leadership which seeks to create a high trust culture by turning ‘the bosses’ into ‘the coaches,’ ‘the head-honchos’ into ‘the mentors,’ ‘the brass’ into ‘the colleagues’ and ‘the critics’ into ‘the cheerleaders.’


Writing on the Wall: Servant Leadership
Author Jim McGrath of Newport News, VA wrote an overview of servant leadership based on the writings of Greenleaf and Spears. Unique in his perspective though, was application of Greenleaf’s “test” of servant leadership to the inspiration of Greenleaf’s writings: the character Leo from Hesse’s Journey to the East.

Positive Organizational Behavior: Servant Leadership, Trust, And Team Performance
Author Dr. Bret L. Simmons highlights the results of a recent study “of 191 financial service teams and 999 total participants recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (that) suggests that servant leadership significantly affects trust in the leader and ultimately team performance.”

MVP Seminars: Servant Leadership
Al Spinks, who served with both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps, before working for IBM and running his own business, wrote of his military experience with servant leadership: “You see I learned early in my military career that if I worked hard for my men then my men would work hard for me.”

LinkedIn Leadership Think Tank: What If Success Was Servant Leadership and Not Greed as demonstrated by most African Leaders?
This question spurred a great deal of debate on this LinkedIn group. The topic, although originating on Africa, spread into broader politics and the debate with which we are all too familiar: are most servant leaders authentic or simply pretending?

Brett Selby: Adjustments (Part 1) – Servant Leadership
The author suggests that servant leaders should adjust their style, as it relates to Ken Blanchard’s four styles of directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating, to accommodate the follower or student.

Daily Trust: Niger’s Servant Leadership Model: A Review
Niger’s Executive Governor, Alhaji Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, who dropped the ‘Executive governor’ or ‘ State Chief Executive’ appellation, and adopted “The Chief Servant” title when sworn in, has now been in place for nearly 4 years. Author Joseph Stevens reviews this self-proclaimed servant’s accomplishments through the lens of Greenleaf’s test.

Daily Nation: Vice President’s Servant Leadership Shines in Parliament and Beyond
There is certainly a great deal of discussion on servant leadership in politics coming out of Africa. This opinion piece is yet another example. Kwamchetsi Makokha writes his perspective on the servant leadership principles practiced by Kenya’s Kalonzo Musyoka.

March Posts from The Modern Servant Leader



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

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