The term Servant Leadership was first coined by Robert Greenleaf. In 1970 he wrote a short essay entitled 'The Servant as Leader' which has had a profound impact in the area of leadership since then. An organisation has been formed around his work, The Robert Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership, which continues to promote his work and holds an annual conference in June in Indianapolis. The Robert Greenleaf Wikipedia page is here.
There are several videos about Servant leadership; one of these is of Robert Greenleaf himself in 1986. In it he says that society is suffering from a ‘malaise’, and that his work will not impact nearly as many people, institutions and businesses as he would have liked it to have done. The second video, from the Greenleaf Centre explains what they see as the critical importance of Servant Leadership in this day and age. There is also a Greenleaf Centre in the United Kingdom which aims to further publicise the concept of Servant Leadership.
David Coltart (born October 4, 1957) is currently Minister for Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in Zimbabwe.. He is a Zimbabwean lawyer, Christian leader and politician. He was a founding member of the Movement for Democratic Change when it was established in 1999. For his wikipedia page click here.
David is the perfect example of a Servant Leader in action. The work he has done for Zimbabwe has shown unequivocally that his motives are genuinely to serve others and he does it with humility and humour, whilst still maintaining his dignity, when challenged by those who feel threatened by his belief in true democracy and a return to justice.
On 26th July 2011, David spoke at "The Annual Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom" in Sydney, Australia, This talk gives an excellent picture of the spirit with which David approaches his life and his work.
In an additional clip, he speaks on BBC Hard Talk in July 2010 about the situation in Zimbabwe and the reason why, despite continuous delays and blocks, he still feels that it was worth participating in the Global Political Agreement. Click here.
Michael Young is another perfect example of a Servant Leader in action. He is the British businessman who brought the ANC and the Afrikaners together in 1985 (the two major powers in the struggle for control in South Africa) in a series of 14 secret meetings in the south of England to try and find a way forward for a new South Africa. The impact of these talks has only now begun to be fully recognised.
Michael was interviewed by Channel 4 television after the film ‘EndGame’ had been made about the secret talks. In this short clip, one gets a sense of the person behind the process. Please click on the image.
Michael Young gave a talk at the Schranner Negotiation Institute N-Conference 2102 in Zurich on the subject of secret negotiations. Below are some highlights of that talk.
Below, Michael answers questions put to him by Matthius Schranner after his talk. In it he suggests that much of the process and methodology used in a difficult negotiation is intuitive.
The film 'Endgame' (2009) about the talks between the ANC and the Afrikaners, organised and hosted by Michael Young
‘EndGame’ is available on Amazon. The film is about the extraordinary work of Michael Young in bringing the ANC and the Afrikaners together for secret talks. It is a powerful film which reveals not only the amazing work carried out by Michael, but also the willingness of both Mbeki (ANC) and Esterhuyse
(Afrikaner), leaders of the two groups, to keep up the momentum and fin a way forward for South Africa. The trailer (shown below) gives an indication of the film itself.
What is your passion?
The final question brings all of the other questions together, as the key to cultivating original thoughts is having a reason to do so in the first place. What is driving us? What is it we feel passionate about?
Passion can be stimulated by a whole array of different ideas and many great things have been achieved and accomplished. Passion however is not limited to achieving something tangible. Your passion could be one of exploration, of curiosity, of seeking enlightenment or freedom. Einstein once wrote “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Whatever it is that stimulates your own inner passion is enough.
Mahatma Gandhi was an enlightened individual who sought not only to secure India’s sovereignty, but also to encourage those around him of all races and persuasions to see their own lives from a more enlightened perspective and live together in peace and harmony.
This documentary gives a broad picture of Gandhi and the work he carried out during his lifetime.
Betty Makoni is a very driven lady. Born in Zimbabwe, she was raped at the age of six and watched her mother beaten so badly that she later died. Once she grew up, she realised that there were many like her who had been raped and abused and that something needed to be done about it. She set up the Girl Child Network which has now become a worldwide organisation.
In 2009, Betty won the accolade of CNN Hero. This short video gives a brief glimpse of her extraordinary work. She has recently written a book entitled ‘Never Again’ which is available on Amazon.
How can one depict passion in a short video clip?
I recently came across this video of a young homeless Korean boy who had been living on the streets from the age of 5 but who had always had a passion to sing. Watch the video as he enters a ‘Korea’s Got Talent’ competition in Korea. Despite his obvious nervousness and low self-esteem, his passion radiates from him the moment he begins to sing.