Being a Servant Leader

Scholar and Educator Robert Greenleaf* offers what he calls “Attributes of a Servant Leader.” We have just celebrated Easter, the Resurrection of our Lord, and I consider Him just such a leader.

1. Listening as in communication; not just talking, but really listening.
2. Empathy so as to “stand in the shoes of another,” understanding another’s life.
3. Healing to make things whole; to bring about reconciliation.
4. Awareness so as to be receptive to what happens around you and even because of you.
5. Persuasion as in convincing others to change by showing them, through your own actions, what is possible.
6. Conceptualization so as to be a “visionary”; to be a guide towards a destination; a common destination.
7. Foresight to understand the future, in the light of the past and present.
8. Stewardship and taking responsibility for the role you play.
9. Commitment to your own growth, as a person, and to the growth of all people.
10. Building Community and authentic relationships that bring joy and satisfaction.

Our Risen Lord and Savior calls each of us to be a “Servant Leader.” If you read these ten attributes offered by Robert Greenleaf very carefully, you will understand these attributes serve as a guide to how we live with each other; how we relate to and treat one another. I think you will also understand that these are the very attributes for which people of faith strive to see being practiced and nurtured around them. We will be in the Easter Season until Pentecost Day on May 20th. Join me in praying that the Holy Spirit will infuse us with the wisdom and knowledge to live out these attributes, with which I know Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ conquered sin and death with. Join me in a way of life; of relating to others, that allows service, servant hood, to be how we live with one another. Practice your leadership; with your family, with your friends and in our community, so as to be of service and not to be served.
Have an idea or a comment or even a question? Contact me at this email address: So, until next time, take care!
* Robert K. Greenleaf (1904–1990) founded the Center for Applied Ethics in 1964. Greenleaf was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and spent most of his organizational life in the field of management, research, development, and education at AT&T. When Greenleaf retired from AT&T in 1964, he launched a new career as speaker, writer, and consultant. Greenleaf coined the term “Servant Leadership,” and wrote and spoke extensively on the subject. In 1970 he published “The Servant as Leader,” an essay which launched the servant leadership movement in the United States.

Rev. John A. Hau’oli Tomoso † is a Social Worker and Episcopal Priest. He is a Priest Associate at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Wailuku and an on-call Chaplain at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Tomoso was graduated from St. Anthony Jr./Sr. High School, the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology) and Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (Masters of Social Work). In 2008, he retired from the civil service as the Maui County Executive on Aging. Tomoso is currently the Executive Director of the non-profit Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. His wife Susan is a 7th grade Language Arts Teacher at Maui Waena Intermediate School.