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Posts & articles that have helped thousands build performance through pragmatic leadership.

Desmond Tutu on Leaders As Servants

There has been much made of servant leadership in recent years. Desmond tutu, in this video, speaks from a pragmatic, but moral perspective.

In the following video 1984 Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu talks about what, in his opinion, makes a good leader. A servant leader must carry the burden of responsibility internally while inspiring people. He sites the Dali Lama, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, and MLK Jr. as great examples of servant leaders. Tutu places a particular emphasis on what I would call the notion of moral burden–that leadership demands some sacrifice and suffering.

While suffering is a word often used  to describe the burden of leadership in the spiritual realm, Tutu seems to imply that the essence of obligation and responsibility of keeping others in mind are critical in being a servant leader. So the question for most of us is, “is this the type of leader we want to be or are there elements in Tutu’s notion of the servant leader that may be important to adopt while not buying into his idea of leadership hook-line-and sinker?”

Enjoy the video and tell me what you think of his ideas.



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