This week I had the honor of speaking to a Servant Leadership Class at Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, MN. This was an elective “J” Term (January Interim Experience) Class open to all students at Gustavus. Therefore the students were there because they wanted to be there to learn more about servant leadership!
Jeff Stocco, the Director of the Center for Servant Leadership at Gustavus, and Larry Spears, President and CEO of the Larry C. Spears Center for Servant-Leadership Inc., were the instructors of this class.
Jeff and Larry invited me to speak to the class to share insights on Triune Leadership Services, LLC and how I work with leaders on enhancing their skills in the area of servant leadership, and driving a culture centered on biblical and servant leadership principles.
As normally happens in most of my work, I learned just as much from spending the day at Gustavus with these high-performing students and “world-class” instructors as the students and other people involved in the class.
In the past I have mentioned the book “From Good to Great in God’s Eyes”, by Chip Ingram. One of the 10 practices that Chip encourages is to “Pursue Great People”. I was certainly in the midst of some great people during my day at Gustavus.
Observations from my day spent at Gustavus would include:
- Young people who have a heart and passion for servant leadership are extremely inspiring! The students’ energy and desire to learn more about servant leadership were amazing. They are going to make an incredible impact on this world throughout their lives.
- I am thankful for the opportunity to meet Larry C. Spears, and spend some time with him. Prior to his current role, Larry was the President and CEO of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership. Larry has written numerous books, given hundreds of keynote speeches, and is widely considered today’s foremost authority on servant-leadership.
- Servant leaders are selfless, thinking about others more than themselves. Larry sacrificed time on his personal work, to come to Gustavus for a month to invest in, and share his knowledge with future leaders in this world.
- I am thankful for my relationship with Jeff Stocco. I have the honor of serving on the National Advisory Board for Gustavus’ Center for Servant Leadership under Jeff’s direction. He is driving a cutting edge focus on servant leadership at Gustavus for their students, the staff, and the community of St. Peter.
- It was clear that these students had greatly benefited from their time spent in this class learning from Jeff and Larry. Their questions were genuine and insightful. Their observations were spot on! They understand servant leadership at a very young age.
My ultimate learning from the day was confirmation that servant leaders never stop learning! Larry Spears, who is world-renowned for his knowledge on servant leadership, asked as many questions as anyone, and took significant notes throughout the class. He is clearly a life-long learner. These students were truly blessed to not only learn from him, but also observe his desire to continue learning.
I can’t wait to read some of Larry’s books on servant leadership to continue learning as well. I can’t wait to have further conversations with both Larry and Jeff to learn from their vast experience in the understanding of what constitutes servant leadership.
Let’s all commit ourselves to a never-ending quest to constant development so that we can be the leaders that God desires us to be.