Leadership Notes #11 – Servant Leadership Works of Larry Spears

(This series of “notes” first appeared in the YahooGroup “VenturingList” and are written by Michael Brown. I thought that they were worth sharing with the Commissioner Corps.)

For many years, Larry Spears was the executive director of the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership (www.greenleaf.org). Upon his retirement from that position, he soon went and started up his own group, the Spears Center for Servant-Leadership (www.spearscenter.org). While at the Greenleaf Center, he oversaw several publications, most notably, new collections of Greenleaf’s works and a series of 4 anthologies on servant leadership that drew from articles and speeches on the topic from a wide range of writers and experts in leadership. The Center expanded under his leadership, doing annual conferences and the like. I think in many ways, Larry Spears was responsible for the spreading of the ideas of Greenleaf.

The new Greenleaf collections were already covered in the Leadership Notes on him.

Three of the servant leadership anthologies are: “Reflections on Leadership: How Greenleaf’s Theory of Servant-Leadership Influenced Today’s Top Management Thinkers” (1995), “Insights on Leadership: Service, Stewardship, Spirit, and Servant-Leadership” (1997), and “Focus on Leadership: Servant-Leadership for the 21st Century” (2001). In these works, a large group of notable leadership and management thinkers (Steven Covey, Warren Bennis, Peter Block, Ken Blanchard, Margaret Wheatley, Max DePree, Peter Senge, and James Autry) reflect on a wide range of implications of the servant-leadership concept. These are important collections, as they show that many others in the field of leadership/management think this concept is important.

At the Center, he also oversaw the publication of a series of essays called the “Voices of Servant Leadership.” A total of 12 booklets were published, and the series has since moved to the Spears Center (under the name “The Servant Leadership Series”). Before he left, he edited “The Practice of Servant-Leadership”. This book includes the first 10 along with other essays, and is a great collection.

As noted, with the Spears Center, Larry Spears oversees new publications and works in the area. Recent works include looking at Myers-Briggs and servant leadership, for instance. Several of these are available as PDF as their website. Some upcoming works looks interesting.

He has also been involved with the publication of a annual academic journal on servant leadership (International Journal of Servant-Leadership).