What is a Servant Leader?

What does it mean to be a leader? Most important, what does it mean to be a servant leader? I’ve seen a recent uptick in people and blogs discussing the concept of servant leadership and I’d like to take a minute to unpack that below. At first, the idea of a leader being a servant seems almost counter-intuitive, but it’s really not. The term “servant leader” was first penned in 1970 by leadership pioneer Robert K. Greenleaf in his groundbreaking essay, “The Leader as Servant.” Greenleaf’s work helped reshape the traditional views of leadership. As for myself, I first became familiar with the term almost a year ago when enrolled the Kennedy School’s Senior Executive Fellow leadership development program. Ever since then, the topic has interested me.

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