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Living as disciples of Jesus, members of our community strive to embody what Jesus taught and how he lived.
Serving others first was central to Jesus’ message and ministry. “…just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
The servant model, established by Jesus, was popularized and secularized in the twentieth century by Robert Greenleaf, who coined the phrase “servant leadership.” Someone who is a “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 Center for Servant Leadership, 2009, para. 1).
The vision statement of Benilde-St. Margaret's calls on each person to become an engaged, intelligent servant-leader. As such, this page accompanies the many efforts to help us continue to grow as servant-leaders.
To your right, you will find ten links that represent each of the ten pillars of servant-leadrship, as it is described by the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Each of these links includes resources to help inspire, challenge, and encourage us to incarnate the various constructs.
Greenleaf's Christian background found its translation to the secular world when he read Herman Hesse's Journey to the East. In this story, Hesse's autobiograhical character is part of a traveling team. Early in the story, he befriends the team's servant whose name is Leo. Only later does he realize that Leo was not only the team's servant, but actually their leader.
Here is one conversation between Leo, the group's servant, and HH, the first person member of the team...
This conversation occurs immediately after Leo compares a good leader to a mother who has just given birth. He relates the way that people rather suddenly lose concern for the mother, and begin to focus their attention on the newborn child. Leo then states that a good leader should not worry about what people think about him/her, but about the service s/he provides....
“The law ordains that it shall be so.”
“The law?” I asked curiously. “What law is that, Leo?”
“The law of service. He who wishes to live long must serve, but he who wishes to rule does not live long.”
“Then why do so many strive to rule?”
“Because they do not understand. Thre are few who are born to be masters; they remain happy and healthy. But all the others who have only become masters through endeavor, end in nothing.”
...I understood little about it and yet the words remained in my memory and left me with a feeling that this Leo knew all kinds of things, that he perhaps knew more than us, who were obstensibly his masters.