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Servant Leadership for Higher Education: Principles and Practices

ISBN: 978-1-118-00890-4
208 pages
February 2012, Jossey-Bass
Servant Leadership for Higher Education: Principles and Practices (1118008901) cover image


"Given the myriad of complex problems facing higher education, it is difficult to imagine that an administrator at any level of the institution could be effective without engaging in servant leadership. Higher education is a service industry and, consequently, this text is a must read for practicing administrators who are committed to effective leadership." –Mary Lou Higgerson, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the college, Baldwin-Wallace College

"Finally a thoughtful book on servant leadership with direct application to higher education. Includes many strategies for developing servant leadership in self, others, and organizations." –Dr. Gary L. Filan, executive director, Chair Academy

"With Servant Leadership for Higher Education Dan Wheeler brings the gauzy platitudes sometimes associated with servant leadership down to earth in a set of field-tested principles. I finished the book fantasizing about how much better off our colleges and universities would be if our leaders behaved like this!"–Jon Wergin, professor of educational studies, Ph.D. in Leadership & Change Program, Antioch University

"This is a must read for anyone thinking about becoming an academic leader. In the academy, it is not about command and control–it's about serving your colleagues. Dan Wheeler's book 'nails it' as nothing is more critical to leaders than success in serving their colleagues." –Walter Gmelch, dean and professor, School of Education, University of San Francisco

Foreword by Kent Keith CEO, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Kent M. Keith

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1

1 Unsuccessful Leadership Models 6

2 Servant Leadership: A Philosophy of Living 13

3 Servant Leadership Principles 26

4 Principle One: Service to Others Is the Highest Priority 34

5 Principle Two: Facilitate Meeting the Needs of Others 48

6 Principle Three: Foster Problem Solving and Taking Responsibility at All Levels 63

7 Principle Four: Promote Emotional Healing in People and the Organization 81

8 Principle Five: Means Are as Important as Ends 93

9 Principle Six: Keep One Eye on the Present and One on the Future 102

10 Principle Seven: Embrace Paradoxes and Dilemmas 114

11 Principle Eight: Leave a Legacy to Society 127

12 Principle Nine: Model Servant Leadership 141

13 Principle Ten: Develop More Servant Leaders 149

14 Care and Feeding of Servant Leaders 156

15 Some Common Questions (Myths) Regarding Servant Leadership 166

Epilogue 171

References 173

The Author 177

Index 179

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Author Information

Daniel W. Wheeler is professor emeritus of Leadership Studies and former head of the Department of Agriculture Leadership, Education, and Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Previously he was coordinator of the Office of Professional and Organizational Development at Nebraska. He consults and leads workshops in all of these areas in the United States and internationally.

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