Love and Servant Leadership Master of Arts in Servant Leadership research
The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation of servant leadership and love, to add to the knowledge base of the study and practice of servant leadership, and to help further define the servant leadership model.
The findings indicated that love is, indeed, central to servant leadership. Future implications include using acts of love to alleviate suffering through the practice of servant leadership.
Following you will find photos of people considered, by definition, to be servant leaders ... and a few words they shared that most struck my heart.
Michelle Takes “I grew up in a very difficult situation. We...READ ON
Michelle Takes “I grew up in a very difficult situation. We were homeless at times, living in a tent. There were drugs, alcohol, physical and emotional abuse. There was a feeling of pain, chaos and suffering. I was broke wide open to experience that pain,” Takes said of her childhood. She said that she believed the adults in her life didn’t feel powerful enough to help her. She recalled being locked in the basement after being abused by her step-father. “God or Spirit or whatever was there with us,” Takes said. “I always felt someone was guiding me.” Takes added that she knew if she could share that feeling, she could help others. “I knew that was how I needed to make other people feel,” she added and then cried. As a seven-year-old living in a homeless shelter, Takes said that was the first time she felt loved ... from the care the people working there gave her. “I was starved for that love,” she added. “When people extended love and compassion to me, that was when I could feel healing in my heart and mind,” she shared. Takes said that bringing “peace, balance and love” became her purpose in life. After surviving breast cancer, Takes returned to school to become an RN and complete her Bachelor's degree. At the time of her interview, she worked as an RN at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, IA. Takes' interview was conducted on March 3, 2021.
Thomas Thibodeau “When I was 12, I became an adult,”...READ ON
Thomas Thibodeau “When I was 12, I became an adult,” Thibodeau shared. “My mother had a difficult pregnancy. From her bed, she taught me to cook, clean, iron, and sew. I became a caregiver.” Soon after, Thibodeau shared that his mother was hospitalized for postpartum depression. He said that the community around helped care for him and his siblings. “How dependent we were on the graciousness of the community,” he said. He recalled one night while living with another family during that time…“I prayed, ‘please take care of me, my mom and dad and bring our family back together.”’ In that moment, Thibodeau explained he felt an “overwhelming sense of peace.” “Prayer,” he added, “is a school of love.” He said he knew he wanted to be like those that helped his mother and his family during that difficult time. “They were serving us. More deeply, they were loving us.” “Service is love made visible," he said. “Our childhood experiences change us for a lifetime,” Thibodeau added. “I’ve come to believe, that this is our human nature – to love and serve others.” Thomas Thibodeau called himself, "a distinguished professor of servant leadership at Viterbo University," an “ambassador for goodness” and he was the founder of the Viterbo University Master of Art in Servant Leadership program. Thibodeau’s interview was conducted on February 25, 2021.
Lori Chown “Tornadoes hit some of the southern states. (My son)...READ ON
Lori Chown “Tornadoes hit some of the southern states. (My son) was just a baby. I felt so helpless. I joined the American Red Cross with a friend. We developed teams and had six or seven calls a year,” Chown shared. Chown now works as the director of the Jackson County Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers where she overseas several programs that serve those in need. She said that still today, when she sees events, and she gets the feeling of helplessness again, asks herself, “How can I help? What can I do when things happen here?” Chown defined love saying, “Love is very much helping others without judging. Love is serving people - trying to help because you want to help, not because you want to fix them. It’s easy.” Chown added, “If you are serving from the heart, you are serving with love.” At the time of her interview, Lori Chown, was serving her community as the Program Director at Jackson County Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers in Black River Falls, WI. Chown’s interview was conducted on March 3, 2021.
Lori Pettibone “She always checked on her grandchildren,”...READ ON
Lori Pettibone “She always checked on her grandchildren,” Lori Pettibone said of her mom's mom, Anabelle Lowe, who raised her. "She was always busy helping people. Whatever needed to be done, she would do." "During summer and break she would feed and take care of us," Pettibone added. "When she would hear of someone being sick, she would visit them. The first thing she did was pray. She wanted to pray for them. The stuff she did was what I wanted to do.” Pettibone said her grandmother was always involved in her community and was always caring. From her grandmother, Pettibone said, was where she gained the love she has now for her community. “Now that I have grandchildren, I want that for them too,” she shared. “As a Ho-Chunk, we help one another. Grandma raised us that way. She didn’t tell us how or what to do. I just followed her.” Pettibone explained that there was a billboard recently erected by the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Court that said, “wokįxetewire” in their traditional Ho-Chungra language. In English, it means, “love one another.” “Working with youth services, I love to get up in the morning to move youth in directions of healing … teach children who we are and who we came from. Some of it was lost,” Pettibone added. Pettibone explained that those who raised her didn’t hug and didn’t say “I love you,” but instead showed them they were loved. “That was taken from us during the boarding school era. That is part of our history. We need to teach that history to bring more healing to our tribal members.” Pettibone explained that because of boarding schools and other things that happened to the Ho-Chunk people are the reasons why many of their tribal members now suffer from drug and alcohol issues. “But I taught my children to say, “I love you,” Pettibone shared, “and taught them appreciation for each other.” “Their shared history,” Pettibone explained, “made me love my community more. We are still here today and trying to move forward because of those things that happened to us – what was taken from us during the boarding school era.” At the time of the interview, Lori Pettibone, also known as Mąąxisgawįga (her given Ho-Chunk name), had served as an elected District 1 Legislator for the sovereign Ho-Chunk Nation, in Black River Falls, WI and had been serving her community as the Ho-Chunk Nation Youth Services Division Director for several years. Pettibone’s interview was conducted on March 3, 2021.
Richard Kyte “My mother and grandmother were both servants. They...READ ON
Richard Kyte “My mother and grandmother were both servants. They were very involved in volunteering in church and community. So, I grew up with those expectations,” Kyte shared. He remembered that his grandmother, even at 80 years of age and having a “bad heart” still served. “That’s inspiring when you are a young person thinking about the kind of life you are going to lead.” “Over the course of my life, the people that seem happiest, the ones I most want to be like, all have been servants,” Kyte added. At the time of the interview, Richard Kyte was the Director of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, professor of philosophy at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin and a syndicated columnist. Kyte’s interview was conducted on February 24, 2021.
Artist Statement Love and Servant Leadership Master of Arts in Servant Leadership research The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation of servant leadership and love, to add to the knowledge base of the study and practic...