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Improving Schools through Building Meaningful Relationships: Administrators Modeling and Teaching Servant Leadership Matt Stephen, Ed.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Schools through Building Meaningful Relationships: Administrators Modeling and Teaching Servant Leadership Matt Stephen, Ed.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Schools through Building Meaningful Relationships: Administrators Modeling and Teaching Servant Leadership Matt Stephen, Ed.D.

2 Can you remember your K-12 teachers?
Is there one special teacher you will never forget? Why is that?

3 Are there teachers you have forgotten?


5 What is Your Leadership Style?

6 “I don’t know” “I haven’t thought about that.”

7 Our leadership style serves to guide every thought and action employed with students each day, and the choice of leadership style will greatly determine our success or failure in the school setting.

8 Leadership Style Determines Classroom and School Climate
“I have come to the frightening conclusion, I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decide whether a crisis Will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized.” Between Teacher and Child Haim G. Ginott ( ) Teacher, child psychologist and psychotherapist

9 If School success is all about relationships
If School success is all about relationships... and leadership style controls thoughts and actions of leaders… then What leadership style is best at building relationships?

10 Servant Leadership

11 What is Servant leadership?
Laub took servant leadership beyond a simple definition of leadership style when he stated, “Servant leadership is more than a style of leadership. It is a different way of thinking about the purpose of leadership, the true role of a leader, and the potential of those being led.” Laub also stated, “Servant leadership is an understanding and practice of leadership that places the good of those led over the self-interest of the leader.” Laub, J. A. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: Development of the servant organizational leadership assessment (sola) instrument. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60 (02), 308A. (UMI No )

12 "Service brings us joy…In service, we discover profound happiness."
Margaret J. Wheatley "Spirituality in Turbulent Times: Leadership Dilemmas Can Only Be Answered Through Spiritual and Philosophical Traditions" School Administrator, Sept. 2002

13 A Brief History of Servant Leadership Theory
Robert K. Greenleaf (The Father of Modern Servant Leadership) Greenleaf is widely recognized as the one who coined the term, servant leadership. Greenleaf spent 40 years at AT&T as a manager of research, development and education. Upon retirement, Greenleaf spent the next 25 years in a pursuit of creating a better, more caring society. Greenleaf remarked that he had great concern for leadership in America, “the outlook for better leadership in our leadership-poor society is not encouraging.” Greenleaf founded the Center for Applied Ethics in 1964 which was renamed the Robert K. Greenleaf Center in 1985 ( Greenleaf stated in his 1970 ground-breaking essay for servant leadership entitled, The Servant as Leader, “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.” Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.

14 History of Servant Leadership Theory
Larry C. Spears Spears became CEO of the Greenleaf Center shortly before Greenleaf’s death on September 29, Spears defined servant leadership as a leadership style based upon teamwork, sense of community, participative decision-making, strong ethical and caring behavior, and concern for growth of people. Spears, L. C. (1996). Reflections on Robert K. Greenleaf and servant leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 17,

15 Ten Characteristics of Servant Leadership Spears (1996)
Listening – Servant leaders’ communication skills are enhanced through a deep commitment to listening intently to the followers. Servant leaders seek to identify and clarify the will of the group. Receptive listening and reflection are essential to the growth of a servant leader. Empathy – Servant leaders strive to understand and empathize with others. They accept and recognize followers for their unique spirits; and they assume others have good intentions, even if they disagree with behavior or performance. Healing – Servant leaders are adept at healing others as well as themselves. They help make others whole by facilitating the healing of broken spirits. Servant leaders share with followers the search for wholeness. Awareness – Servant leaders exhibit a general awareness of what is happening in the organization. They possess a keen sense of self-awareness and an understanding of issues involving ethics and values. Servant leaders are often described as disturbers and awakeners. Persuasion – Servant leaders employ persuasion rather than position authority when making decisions within the organization. They prefer to convince rather than coerce followers. Servant leaders are very effective with building consensus within the group.

16 Conceptualization – Servant leaders do not deal only with short-term goals and thinking. They are able to stretch their thinking to encompass broader-based conceptual thinking. Servant leaders can nurture the abilities of others to “dream great dreams” and to think beyond day-to-day realities. Foresight – Servant leaders are capable of understanding lessons from the past, seeing the realities of the present, and predicting likely consequences of decisions. They are adept at intuitive thinking. Stewardship – Servant leaders are dedicated to holding their institutions in trust for the greater good of society. They are committed to serving the needs of others. Commitment to the Growth of People – Servant leaders believe in the intrinsic value of people beyond their tangible contributions as workers. They feel responsible for nurturing the personal, professional and spiritual growth of employees. Building Community – Servant leaders are dedicated to rebuilding the sense of community that has been lost with the shift to large institutions.

17 Seven Virtuous Constructs of Servant Leadership Patterson (2003) Patterson, K. A. (2003). Servant leadership: A theoretical model. Servant Leadership Roundtable. Regent University School of Leadership Studies, Virginia Beach, VA. Agapao Love – Love is the cornerstone of the servant leader-follower relationship. Servant leaders see followers as whole persons with different gifts and talents. They are able to focus on followers first, then on their talents and how those talents benefit the organization. Humility – Servant leaders are able to keep their accomplishments and talents in perspective. They focus on others rather than themselves. Servant leaders have an authentic desire to help others, and they search for ways to serve others through staying in touch with their followers. Altruism – Servant leaders help others just for the sake of helping. They have an unselfish concern for others which often involves personal sacrifice. Servant leaders’ behaviors are directed toward the benefit of others even when those behaviors are against their own personal interests. Vision – Servant leaders have a vision for their individual followers. They help others to see the big picture by enabling them to develop a clear sense of purpose and direction. Servant leaders develop within others the mission to serve and encourage followers to become more than they thought possible. Trust – Servant leaders develop trust through demonstrating integrity and concern for others. They create open environments where everyone has a voice and they work collaboratively. Empowerment – Servant leaders empower others with the best interest of those being served in mind. They teach and develop people as leaders through shared decision-making and shared responsibility. Servant leaders make it a priority to grow new servant leaders. Service – Servant leaders choose the interests of others over self-interests. They see leadership as a calling - a life mission. Servant leaders accept the responsibility for serving others; and they are committed to an authentic, personal involvement with followers through the giving or their time, energy, care, and compassion.

18 Page and Wong’s 7 Servant Leadership Traits
Empowering and Developing Others Vulnerability/Humility Serving Others Open, Participatory Leadership Visionary Leadership Courageous Leadership (Integrity/Authenticity) Inspiring Leadership

19 Spears’ 10 Characteristics of Servant Leaders (1996)
Patterson’s 7 Virtuous Constructs of Servant Leadership (2003) Page & Wong’s 7 Factors of Servant Leadership (2003) Commitment to Growth of People Empowerment Empowering and Developing Others Empathy Humility Vulnerability/Humility Healing Stewardship Agapao Love Service Serving Others Listening Building Community Open, Participatory Leadership Conceptualization Foresight Vision Visionary Leadership Awareness Altruism Courageous Leadership (Integrity/Authenticity) Persuasion Trust Inspiring Leadership

20 Seven Factors of Servant Leadership
Personal Character Humility Serving Others Courageous Leadership (Integrity) Visionary Leadership Interaction with Others Empowering and Developing Others Open, Participatory Leadership Inspirational Leadership

21 Why Servant Leadership?
According to the research: Climate strong relationship between servant leadership and positive school climate. Academic Success schools with greater practices of servant leadership achieve at a higher rate than schools with lower degrees of servant leadership practice. Job Satisfaction strong relationship between servant leadership and job satisfaction.

22 Why Servant Leadership?
Teachers are servant leaders themselves, and they prefer to follow other servant leaders. According to Greenleaf, servant leaders want to be led by servant leaders. He stated, “Those who choose to follow this principle (servant leadership) will not casually accept the authority of existing institutions. Rather, they will freely respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants.” Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.


24 How does humility help a leader build relationships?
Factor #1 Humility “Who am I?” Self-reflection as a tool for personal growth Humble Character Providing a role model of Humble Leadership Absence of ego, jealousy, and self-promotion Putting needs of others first Team membership (walk and talk) Elevating and praising others Mentoring others in humility and self-reflection How does humility help a leader build relationships?

25 Factor #2 Serving Others
Personal Mission of Serving Others Servant role and attitude – Master vs. Servant Leadership Living and articulating a personal mission of service Mission as a motivator and stress reliever Nurturing and Healing Others Listening Empathy Sacrifice Living a life of giving to others Balancing personal and professional life

26 Factor #3 Courageous Leadership
Integrity Examining one’s integrity – values, beliefs, and guiding principles “Character is made in the small moments of our lives.” Phillips Brooks Actions of high integrity leaders – taking the high road Integrity killers Authenticity Genuine leadership Admitting to mistakes and asking forgiveness Awareness Self-awareness and awareness of others Building a purposeful reputation Understanding issues involving ethical dilemmas

27 Factor #4 Visionary Leadership
Conceptualization Seeing the big picture and dreaming great dreams Reflecting on the organization beyond day-to-day issues Foresight Leader intuition Vision Providing direction and purpose for people/organization Articulating personal vision Creating a shared vision and buy-in from the team Navigating an organization through shared vision

28 Factor #5 Empowering and Developing Others
Connecting with Others Getting to know and understand one another on a personal level Getting to know and understand one another on a professional level Building long-lasting relationships Commitment to the Growth of Others Making a commitment to grow others How to help others grow John C. Maxwell’s Enlarging Process See potential Cast a vision for their future Tap into their passions Address their character flaws Focus on their strengths

29 Empowering and Developing Others
Professional and Personal Development Focusing on the needs of those in the organization - personal, professional, and spiritual Learning for continuous improvement Fighting isolation Creating professional learning communities Growing New Leaders Providing a model for servant leadership Mentoring new leaders Delegating Matching abilities and interests to tasks Sharing power

30 Factor #6 Open, Participatory Leadership
Effective Communications in an Organization Listening Listening to individuals Listening to the will of the group Promoting kindness, trust, honesty, and openness in all interactions Setting high standards for self and others Promoting vital conversations in organizations Dealing with confrontations Visibility and Accessibility Building Cooperative and Collegial Teams Shared decision-making and shared power Trust building Building positive culture

31 Factor #7 Inspiring Leadership
Influencing Others Persuasion vs. position authority Becoming a leader of influence (John C. Maxwell) Getting others to embrace the vision and mission Getting the Best from Others What makes a leader inspiring Visionary Leadership + Courageous Leadership = Inspiring Leadership “Power is created when individuals perceive that their leaders are honorable, so they trust them, are inspired by them, believe deeply in the goals communicated by them, and desire to be led.” Stephen Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership Connecting with, believing in, and motivating people Optimism Celebrating

32 Three Point Sermon on Servant Leadership
Personal Character Connecting with People Service Attitude

33 Questions to Ask Ourselves
Teachers: How can I best serve my kids? Principals: How can I best serve the servant leaders who serve my kids? Support: How can I best serve the servant leaders who serve the servant leaders who serve my kids?

34 To Promote Building Relationships in Schools
We must live and model servant leadership traits. We must hold high expectations for others to live and model servant leadership traits and hold them accountable.

35 The Lighthouse She is larger than life and awe inspiring
as she stands firmly on the ground. She slings her light out into the darkness turning the lost into the found. Dependable, patient, stalwart and sturdy are some words used to express her charm. She is a beacon of light guiding ships in the night providing direction and protection from harm.

36 She guides others on their adventures
some never to return, their futures skillfully erected. She never abandons her post, she always remains behind with no accolades expected. It is often a thankless job Yet, she is ever faithful to her mission of serving others.

37 Please forgive me for getting deep or profound
like some philosopher or preacher, but it seems to me that you could drop the word “lighthouse” and insert the word “teacher.”

38 “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”
Dumbest Words Ever Spoken: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach” Saddest Words Ever Spoken: “I am just a teacher.” Teachers are Heroes Teachers are Famous

39 Definition of “Famous”
Webster’s Dictionary Well-known Wide-spread Reputation Celebrated

40 Servant leadership is not easy, but it is worth doing right!

41 Mission as a motivator and stress reliever

42 Please go online and check out further resources on servant leadership for educators. Matt Stephen, Ed.D.

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