The definition of servant leadership according to Robert K. Greenleaf, is a philosophy and set of practices that enrich the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” -Robert K. Greenleaf.
Servant leadership appears in our LAS protocol in a variety of different ways.
The first way it appears is the protocol of having to receive thirty or more service hours per year. This is servant leadership because it is volunteering to help someone or an organization in a positive way. You can serve your community, organization, friends and companies.
For my thirty hours of community service, I performed a variety of different tasks. I volunteered at Relay for Life, volunteered in Flint, I made blankets for a women’s shelter, I helped organized donated books for the Philippines, I made valentines day cards for a nursing home, I made lunches for homeless children and I volunteered at Potter’s House. Servant Leadership is supposed to enrich the lives of others around you. I have continuously pushed myself to help others on and off campus. This LAS protocol helped me push myself even further. Servant Leadership, in my opinion, is about dedicating time to help others in a positive way. I observed my cohort around me volunteering in so many different ways, we made in impact on so many people. The protocol of having to get 30 hours of community service hours encourage everyone in LAS to perform servant leadership.
Anther one of my favorite protocols for LAS is the service trip to Detroit. We are required to travel to Detroit with the Leadership institute to perform a multitude of different tasks to help the city. On the last day, we traveled to CASS Social Services to volunteer. We were all separated into different groups, some were in the kitchen making food for the homeless, some helped make mats out of recycled tires etc. It was the perfect application of servant leadership because we all contributed to a cause that would affect the city of Detroit in a positive way.
The Servant Leadership theory portrays itself in so many different ways. Anyone can be a servant leader. It takes time, dedication and passion for what you are doing. There are a multitude of different real life applications that are considered servant leadership. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship does a fantastic job encouraging their students to dedicate their time to a good cause. Receiving 30 hours of community service and the Detroit Trip are just a few ways that the LAS cohort show servant leadership. There are so many other ways that we as students use servant leadership in our everyday life without being directed by our protocol. Servant Leadership, in my opinion, is the most important leadership theory known today. Serving others without pay or reward shows an immense amount of character. I am so lucky to be a part of a scholarship that expects us to apply servant leadership to our everyday lives.