In a few weeks I'm off to a 5-day contemplative servant-leadership retreat at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center near St. Louis (see image above in following post).
While the concept of servant-leadership is ancient, Robert Greenleaf, former head of Managment Research at AT&T, gave it a modern articulation. "The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first..." - Robert Greenleaf
From Wikipedia: According to his essay, Essentials of Servant Leadership, Greenleaf’s philosophy had its roots from reading a work of fiction in 1958:
"The idea of the servant as leader came out of reading Hermann Hesse’s Journey to the East In this story, we see a band of men on a mythical journey. The central figure of the story is Leo, who accompanies the party as the servant who does their menial chores, but who also sustains them with his spirit and his song. He is a person of extraordinary presence. All goes well until Leo disappears. Then the group falls into disarray and the journey is abandoned. They cannot make it without the servant Leo. The narrator, one of the party, after some years of wandering, finds Leo and is taken into the Order that had sponsored the journey. There he discovers that Leo, whom he had known first as servant, was in fact the titular head of the Order, its guiding spirit, a great and noble leader."