There are many centers, institutes, universities, and other organizations around the world that help people to learn about and then apply servant leadership in their lives and their work. Two organizations based in the United States are:
The Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. The center provides programs such as the Greenleaf Academy, Greenleaf Scholars Program, and the Next Generation Initiative, as well as conferences and materials on servant leadership, including books and essays that can be ordered through its online bookstore. Website: www.greenleaf.org
The Servant Leadership Institute. The institute provides programs, workshops, conferences, podcasts, webinars, and books on servant leadership. Website: www.servantleadershipinstitute.com.
The practice of servant leadership has been enhanced by the wisdom and insights of servant leaders in the workplace who have spoken and written about their experiences. Here are a number of outstanding servant leadership practitioners and their books and materials, presented in alphabetical order: James A. Autry, Cheryl Bachelder, Art Barter, Linda Belton, Howard Behar, Dr. Kent M. Keith, Isabel Lopez, Mary Miller, and Joe Patrnchak.
James A. Autry
Poet, lecturer, and management consultant
Former President of the Meredith Corporation’s Magazine Group
Author of ten books including Love and Profit and The Servant Leader
After graduating from the University of Mississippi in journalism, Jim Autry served as a jet fighter pilot in the Air Force in France for four years. After he completed his Air Force service, he entered the newspaper business and moved on to magazines. He worked for Better Homes and Gardens, starting as a copy and manager editor and working his way up within twenty-five years to become editor in chief and president of the Meredith Corporation’s Magazine Group. He took an early retirement in 1991 to focus more on his present career as speaker and management consultant. He has published ten books, two of which are volumes of poetry. An advocate of servant leadership, Jim has spoken at many leadership conferences and events.
Former CEO, Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.
Director at US Foods Holding Corp.
Director at Chick-Fil-A, Inc.
Author, Dare to Serve: How to drive superior results by serving others
Cheryl Bachelder is a passionate, purpose-led business leader known for her crisp strategic thinking, a franchisee-focused approach, and superior financial performance. Guided by the servant leadership thinking of Robert Greenleaf, she believes highly caring, collaborative leaders with big ambitions for the enterprise, not themselves, generate the conditions for people to perform their best work.
Cheryl served as CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., a NASDAQ traded company with over 2,600 restaurants in 26 countries, from 2007 to 2017. The story of Popeyes success is chronicled in her book, Dare to Serve: How to drive superior results by serving others. During her tenure, Popeyes’ stock price grew from $11 to $61, at which time the board sold the company to Restaurant Brands International Inc. for $1.8 billion dollars or $79 per share in March, 2017.
Cheryl’s earlier career included brand leadership roles at Yum Brands, Domino’s Pizza, RJR Nabisco, The Gillette Company, and Procter & Gamble. Cheryl serves as a director on the boards of US Foods Holding Corp. (USFD), and Chick-Fil-A, Inc. She sits on the advisory board of Procter & Gamble’s franchising venture, Tide Dry Cleaners. She is a board member of WorkMatters, a faith-based leadership development initiative, and the Metro Atlanta Salvation Army Advisory Board.
Cheryl holds Bachelor and Masters of Business Administration degrees from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She is married 40 years to Chris Bachelder and they have three grown daughters, two terrific son-in-laws, and four handsome grandsons. Cheryl and Chris reside in Atlanta, Georgia and attend Buckhead Church. They are avid learners, fans of the classical education movement, and can always be found reading a good book!
Owner and CEO, Datron World Communications, Inc.
Founder and CEO, Servant Leadership Institute
As the owner and cultural architect of Datron World Communications, Inc., Art Barter turned a 10 million company into a $200 million dollar company in just six years. The success of his international multi-cultural radio manufacturing company was born out of his desire to transform a traditional system of leadership into a servant-led organization. He has presented the servant leadership message to a variety of corporate, government, and nonprofit audiences throughout the U.S. Prior to joining Datron in 1997, he spent eight years working with the Disney Corporation and more than 25 years at manufacturing companies. He is the founder and CEO of the Servant Leadership Institute in Carlsbad, California.
Former Senior Executive in the Veterans Health Administration
Former leader of the Wisconsin State Hospital System
Author of The Intentional Servant Leader: Premise and Practice, The Intentional Servant Leader: The Workbook, The First Shall Be Last: Servant Leadership in Scripture, A Nobler Side of Leadership: The Art of Humanagement, and A Nobler Side of Leadership: The Workbook.
Linda W. Belton served as a Senior Executive in the Veterans Health Administration for 20 years, as Director, Veterans Integrated Service Network, leading a region of VA hospitals and clinics in the Midwest, and as VA’s first Director of Organizational Health. Prior to her work in VA, she was appointed by the Governor of Wisconsin to lead the State Hospital system and held executive leadership positions at a variety of private sector health care organizations.
Linda earned an R.N. from Jameson School of Nursing, a B.S. from the University of the State of New York, and an M.S. from Columbia Pacific University. She was a Johnson Fellow at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government (Senior Executives in State and Local Government), and completed the University of Rochester’s program in Leading Organizations to Health.
Belton served on the Board of Trustees of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a lay Associate of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM). She has received three Presidential Rank awards for her professional contributions.
Additional works include The Intentional Servant Leader: Premise and Practice (2018), The Intentional Servant Leader: The Workbook (2018) The First Shall Be Last: Servant Leadership in Scripture (2017), A Nobler Side of Leadership: The Art of Humanagement (2016), and A Nobler Side of Leadership: The Workbook (2017). She has co–authored publications on Servant Leadership, CREW (Civility, Respect and Engagement in the Workplace), Organizational Health, and workplace violence.
Former President of Starbucks International
Former President of Starbucks North America
Author of It’s Not About the Coffee, and The Magic Cup
Howard Behar's career in business spans over 50 years, all in consumer-oriented businesses covering several industries. He retired from Starbucks Coffee after 21 years where he led both the domestic business, as President of North America, and was the founding President of Starbucks International. During his tenure, he participated in the growth of the company from 28 stores to over 15,000 stores spanning five continents. He served on the Starbucks Board of Directors for 12 years before retiring.
Mr. Behar is currently a Trustee for the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and is on the advisory board of Anthos Capital. He formerly severed as a board member for Starbucks, GAP, Shurgard, University of Washington Foundation, and IDTech to name a few. Mr. Behar is committed to the development and education of our future leaders and has been a longtime advocate of the Servant Leadership Model. He has also authored two books on leadership titled It's Not About the Coffee and The Magic Cup.
Former Board member, Greenleaf Centre for Servant-Leadership UK
Co-founder, Work AnyWare Ltd
Author, Working with…Servant Leadership
Charlie was a board member of Greenleaf Centre for Servant-Leadership UK for many years. He has been interested in Servant-Leadership since he first
discovered it in the 1980s. He was soon introduced to The Greenleaf Centre for Servant-Leadership UK which held its first conference on Servant-Leadership in 1999. Charlie was present and has attended most of their annual conferences since then, and has presented at several. In 2013 Charlie introduced an annual northern Servant-Leadership conference in Leeds. He has organised seven such conferences and presented at many of them.
Charlie has introduced the principles of Servant-Leadership into several organisations, including three businesses he founded. One thing that became clear to him is that a strong philosophical background was needed to bolster attempts
to introduce Servant-Leadership. He hopes his books will go some way towards remedying a shortage of clearly stated, practical principles.
In 2006, Charlie co-founded Work AnyWare Ltd with Justin Gallagher. Work AnyWare was built from the start on Servant-Leadership principles, guided by Charlie's hard-earned experience. It is a very successful commercial business and shows that a Servant-Leadership-based organisation can compete very effectively in a market economy.
Dr. Kent M. Keith
President Emeritus, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (USA)
President Emeritus, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (Asia) in Singapore
Author of The Case for Servant Leadership, Servant Leadership in the Boardroom, and Questions and Answers About Servant Leadership
Editor of The Contemporary Servant as Leader
During his career in Hawaii, Dr. Keith has served as an attorney, state government official, high tech park developer, YMCA executive, and president of two private universities. In 2007 he moved to Indiana to serve as CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (USA), and in 2012 he moved to Singapore, where he served for three years as CEO of the Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership (Asia).
Dr. Keith earned a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.A. from Oxford University in England, a Certificate in Japanese from Waseda University in Tokyo, a law degree from the University of Hawaii, and a doctorate in higher education leadership from the University of Southern California. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
Dr. Keith has given more than a thousand speeches and workshops in the United States and thirteen countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is known throughout the world as the author of the Paradoxical Commandments, which he first published in 1968 in a book for student leaders. In 2002, his book Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments became a national bestseller in the United States and was translated into 17 languages. He is a passionate advocate of servant leadership and has written a number of books and articles on the topic, including The Case for Servant Leadership; Servant Leadership in the Boardroom; and Questions and Answers about Servant Leadership. He is also the editor of The Contemporary Servant as Leader. More than 250,000 copies of his ten books have been sold worldwide.
President of Lopez Leadership Services
Former corporate executive for Fortune 500 company
Author of The Wisdom of Servant Leadership
Isabel Lopez is president of Lopez Leadership Services specializing in leadership development. Ms. Lopez is former corporate executive for a Fortune 500 company. As a corporate executive she supervised hundreds of employees and managed multi-million-dollar budgets. Her organizational background is extensive. She has conducted leadership development seminars, workshops and planning processes for private foundations, grass roots communities, national, state and local leadership institutes/programs and educational institutions under her own company name for over twenty-five years.
Isabel has been published in both business and general interest journals. She is also a contributing author to the books, Reflections on Leadership, Faith in Leadership and most recently has authored The Wisdom of Servant Leadership. She has been associated with the Greenleaf Center since its early days and has taught Foundation of Servant Leadership for the Greenleaf Academy. Ms. Lopez is often sought out for her unique ability to weave humanistic and spiritual aspects of the whole person with the concrete tasks at hand. She is also a mother, a grandmother, writer, and speaker.
Recently, Isabel has drawn on her decades of experience and observation to create a “Continuum of Leadership Growth.” It focuses on three leadership areas: individual work, organizational work and spirit work. To download a copy of the document, click below.
Principal, MTM Transformation Coaching
Human Resources Manager, Delphi Brake Assembly Operations
Co-Author, Servant Leadership in Hard Times
Mary Miller successfully worked in the automotive industry for 30 years; challenging and supporting employees at all levels to develop their individual strengths while positively impacting the bottom line. Her career began with General Motors where she was provided diverse assignments in manufacturing, purchasing, production control & logistics, and engineering. During the second half of her automotive career, Mary gained extensive experience in organizational learning and development and human resources management. Mary’s last assignment at Delphi was manager of salaried human resources where she provided human resources leadership to help close-down Delphi Corporation’s Brake Assembly Operations.
For her encore career, Mary founded her own leadership and life coaching practice, MTM Transformation Coaching. She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) who challenges and supports her clients to maximize their personal and professional potential by awakening their most authentic selves. Mary has been a featured speaker for the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. She also co-authored Servant Leadership in Hard Times, detailing how servant leadership principles guided the closing of the Delphi brake operations. Mary earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Oakland University and a Master of Science in Industrial Relations from Purdue University.
Head of Green Summit Partners
Former Chief Human Resources Officer at Cleveland Clinic
Board Chair, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership
Author of The Engaged Enterprise: A Field Guide for the Servant-Leader and Exercises for Management Reflection: The Servant-Leader Workbook
Joe Patrnchak is head of Green Summit Partners, a consulting practice dedicated to bringing out the best in people and organizations. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor of Leadership and Ignation Ethics at Boston College.
Prior to establishing Green Summit, Joe served as Chief Human Resources Officer at Cleveland Clinic. Tasked with making the Clinic a great place to work and grow, building a highly engaged workforce, and modernizing the HR function, he:
• Led development of a “we are all caregivers” culture—with innovative serving leadership, employee wellness, and recognition programs—that drove engagement to world-class levels (as measured by Gallup), and contributed to a dramatically improved patient experience (as measured by Federal “HCHAPS” results).
• Implemented a new “people strategy” that transformed the Clinic into an employer of choice—recognized by numerous local, regional, and national awards.
• Directed deployment of HR best practices and a 21st-century delivery platform greatly improved HR services.
Before joining Cleveland Clinic in 2007, Joe served as Chief HR Officer and Senior Vice President at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. At BCBSMA, he played a key role in reenergizing this mature organization through new strategic planning, performance management, and leadership development processes, and through innovative work-life, career development, and employee health programs that improved engagement to benchmark levels. Previously, Joe served as Vice President of Human Resources for HP/Compaq/Digital, including leading HR for the $4.5B Global Customer Services Division, which was cited for five years by IDC, Gartner, and Forrester as the technology industry’s #1 or #2 service business.
Joe holds an MS in Human Resources Management and Organizational Development from American University; he is also a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, and the International Management Program at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. He holds a BA in Sociology from Northwestern, where he (along with his twin brother Carl) was defensive co-captain of the football team and a member of the All Big Ten Academic Team.
Joe is active in a number of community service organizations and religious ministries, including serving as a Board Chair of the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership; Cleveland Inner City Tennis Clinics; Tenacity, Inc.; and the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. A co-Founder of the Healthcare Human Resources Forum, and a frequent conference speaker, he is the author of The Engaged Enterprise: A Field Guide for the Servant-Leader, also Exercises for Management Reflection: The Servant-Leader Workbook, as well as journal articles on organizational change, employee engagement, and servant leadership. Joe divides his time between his Boston home and Vermont log cabin. He is an avid skier, tennis player, and fly fisherman.