Viterbo held its third annual servant leadership conference on June 15.
Drawing in students as well as business representatives, the conference featured multiple servant leadership experts attempting to further the understanding of servant leadership as well as the impact it can have on a community.
The term "servant leadership" was initially coined by Robert K. Greenleaf and describes a leadership style that focuses on serving before leading. Conference speakers describe aspects of servant leadership as gaining the moral authority to lead by consistently earning trust, as well as utilizing persuasion over coercion or intimidation.
Speaker and servant leadership author Dr. Don M. Frick said servant leadership can benefit individuals and communities but not without a unique journey, "We all have a hero's journey to take, and the servant leadership journey is internal going down and external going out" Frick describes, "You can't do one or the other you have to do them both. It is servant-leader, you have to be a servant and a leader or neither one of them works."
Frick also elaborates on the ability to be a servant leader, "All are capable of leading and saying 'well here is what we need in this community.' They are better at it than somebody who doesn't live there," Frick explains, "So that is part of service leadership too, asking what people really need and how leadership can emerge from their ranks and not from the ranks just of the [people that say] 'Well I am trained in leadership' you know?"