A Novice’s Journey: A Gift for Commencement

Do you have a young person in your life graduating from High School, College or accepting an advanced degree this or next month? I do. We often search for that perfect gift that conveys our love and admiration. Robert Greenleaf asked us to demonstrate unlimited liability for others and posed the question: “What if millions of us demonstrated servant leadership in our own lives, and taught it to others—beginning with young people?”

What a perfect gift! Please join me in sharing a true appreciation of servant leadership. Greenleaf challenged us to create a community where trust, respect, and ethical behavior are maintained.

In our fast-paced and polarized world, servant-leaders must take on the responsibility to create the life-giving community where young people are nurtured and encouraged to serve and lead.

This can be as easy as bringing servant leadership into our mentoring relationships. We already recognize the benefits of mentoring to help young people be their best professionally. Integrating servant leadership into those relationships will also help them be the best possible version of themselves; in all relationships.

  • Listen to them.
  • Ask how they need to be served.
  • Challenge them to look at every issue they are facing from the perspective of what they can do about it.
  • Help them appreciate that there is no one perfect path to a desired outcome and celebrate the different perspectives that others bring to the task at hand.
  • Encourage them to apply these lessons in their most important relationships.

At this time of commencement, let all servant-leaders embrace their role in creating the next generation of servant-leaders.

In the spirit,

Pat Falotico

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