Administrator discusses leadership
Gabriela Malespin | Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Drew Buscareno, Assistant Vice President for University Relations, gave a lecture titled “Servant Leadership” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Mendoza College of Business Tuesday. Buscareno’s was one in a series of lectures for Mendoza’s “Ethics in Business week”.
“Servant leadership” is a leadership philosophy developed by Robert Greenleaf which centers on the idea that a leader is meant to serve others and to allow full growth of the organization and its constituents.
Buscareno said servant leadership can be practiced by anyone, including people in positions that are not traditionally considered leadership positions.
“One of the insights I have had on servant leadership is that those who practice it can really transcend any kind of organizational hierarchy their formal position has placed on them,” Buscareno said. “Servant leaders aren’t really bound to an organizational structure.”
Servant leadership allows people to become more involved with their organization as a whole and enables a greater opportunity to network ideas within as well as outside their current department, Buscareno said.
“This model is absolutely a relationship-centric model,” Buscareno said. “I think there is an incredible humility combined with a fierce drive to create a better system.”
One of the examples Buscareno pointed to was the leadership of Pope Francis. He said Pope Francis’ efforts to ground the mission of the Church in the reality faced by the people the Church intends to serve exemplifies the principles of servant leadership.
“[The example of Pope Francis] gives us an insight on the definition of servant leadership,” he said.
Buscareno said the principles of servant leadership rely on a model of “walking with, listening to, speaking truth and breaking bread.”
“This [model] gives us a good framework of how we can practice servant leadership,” Buscareno said. “In the examples that I’ve brought, there is this intense focus to ‘walk with.’ The practice of servant leadership, no matter what the role we’re in, attempts to become grounded in whoever we serve.”
Those who want to practice servant leadership should identify mentors in their lives who embody its principles, recognize the importance of team work and “be content to be a beginner,” Buscareno said.
“There is a passion for mission among servant leaders. It is all about the mission and all about those who are part of that mission,” he said. “Service orientation can help influence our team performance. That’s the kind of savvy that often comes with leadership, when leaders see that opportunity to connect and face this barrier of ideas together.”