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    Today’s guests come from 3 different continents, but they all believe in servant leadership. Dirk van Dierendonck is Dean of Faculty/ Vice Dean of Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Vincent Giolito is an Associate Professor and the Director of Executive Education at Emlyon Business School in Morocco. Bob Liden is Associate Dean of College of Business Doctoral Programs and Professor of Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In this special episode of the Love In Action podcast, Marcel Schwantes speaks with this panel of expert educators about servant leadership, why it works, and the impact it has on organizations.

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    Show Notes

    • Dirk explains that servant leadership is other-oriented leadership, but it’s also about the impact that your organization has on the world. Bob adds that servant leadership is most effective when coming from a place of genuineness. [4:29]
    • Dirk, Vincent and Bob dispel some assumptions about servant leadership. “There is a misconception that servant leaders are just leaders who are nice to work with. No, these are people who are very concerned with attaining organizational objectives, but they think about those objectives through people first,” claims Vincent. [7:33]
    • According to Dirk’s research, empowerment is important in an organization. Servant leadership opens up more opportunities for shared leadership; teams with shared leadership are statistically the most productive teams. [13:00]
    • Marcel asks what the best approach may be to servant leadership during the current global health and economic crisis. “Servant leadership relies on close personal interaction with followers, and it involves listening, understanding people’s desires and fears, and perspective-taking. The challenge comes with doing it virtually,” Bob comments. He adds that the most challenging trait to fight off as a servant leader is the pursuit of one’s self-interest. [21:02]
    • Servant leadership is a mindset. It takes time to grow. [28:11]
    • A top-down approach to transforming organizational culture into one of servant leadership will not work, claims Vincent. The transformation must happen at all levels of the organization for any lasting effect to take place. [30:30]
    • Marcel asks them why they think some leaders still lead through fear. “People don’t seem to understand that management is a skill that needs to be developed,” Bob says, “yelling at people and leading through fear is much easier than listening, understanding, and practicing compassion.” [35:59]


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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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