Leadership in the Service of Serving

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."

Social Responsibility for the Common Good & Easter

When I make a purchase at Amazon.com I receive a request from Amazon several days later to review the product and thereby make my experience of it available to others who are trying to decide what to buy. In the past I have not submitted reviews but this has not stopped me from using the reviews of others for my own decision-making. My reasoning (excuse)? The one I give most often to myself is, "I'm too busy." Well, today I have decided to join-in contributing to the common good - even if its just a couple of sentences its something vs. nothing. This decision required that I admit that, at least in this context, I take, take, take but do not reciprocate in giving. I have decided its better to give AND receive, at least with the  Amazon community of shoppers of which I'm one, and thereby contribute in a small way to something that is made by both one(s) and many. I think there is an Easter message therein.