Chaleff, Ira “Courageous Followership and Servant Leadersip”

Recently I participated in the 20th annual conference hosted by the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. I was invited to speak because of the symbiotic nature of Servant Leadership and Courageous Followership. It was a heartwarming experience for me as a number of conference participants had read The Courageous Follower and were incorporating it into their own work in different ways, including the delegates from Greenleaf Center in Singapore.

The essence of Servant Leadership is a way of being that assumes your first role is to serve the group and only then to lead it. A subtle sounding but vital distinction in how one relates to other members of the group.

In Servant Leadership philosophy, there is a strong acknowledgment that all human beings have blind spots and, therefore, that leaders need people around them who can lovingly, but courageously and skillfully help their leaders see those blind spots. Only then will leaders avoid acting before being fully aware of the information and risks that need to be taken into account in their decision making. Rebecca Nordeman, a presenter of a breakout session titled “How to be a servant-leader when your boss isn’t”, referred to my work several times as a resource for the many people who find themselves in that challenging position.

I met wonderful people at this conference and personally learned a lot. The resonance in our messages was confirmed when the bookstore sold out of the large box of my books they had ordered.

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