Servant Leadership During Times of Uncertainty

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session Leadership

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Being an effective and positive leader is challenging, even when times are certain. Leading in a time of uncertainty can be downright scary. This lightning talk explores how seven key components of servant leadership can assist leaders in leading during times of uncertainty. 

Presenters

Stephanie Hinshaw is the senior vice president of academic affairs. In her role, she oversees all academic activities and initiatives for the college, including academic programs and departments, curriculum production services, student affairs, academic excellence, and continuous improvement. As an advocate for student-first approaches and processes, Hinshaw's ethos revolves around monitoring and converting student feedback and achievement into actionable changes and eliminating barriers to continuing education. She is passionate about providing high-quality education in an accessible manner for adult learners. Hinshaw has worked in higher education for over 19 years and joined American College of Education in 2014, where she ascended the ranks, serving as the senior director of registration and student services, senior director of student operations, and assistant provost and vice president of student operations. Previously, Hinshaw worked as the director of admissions operation for Orbis Education, where she spearheaded admissions efforts for their accelerated online nursing programs and partners. She co-led the creation of their centralized admissions model. Before that, she served as an instructor, director of admissions, corporate director of admissions and marketing, and vice president of admissions for MedTech College. She received her MBA in marketing from Butler University and a bachelor's in journalism and public relations from Indiana University. Hinshaw is presently completing her Ed.D. in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University where she is researching the impacts of toxic leaders on their followers. She also attended Harvard's Graduate School of Education 2017 Women in Education Leadership conference and the Online Learning Consortium's 2019 Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning, both programs are designed to help senior-level leaders advance their leadership practice and the field of education.

Extended Abstract

Being an effective and positive leader is challenging, even when times are certain. Leading in a time of uncertainty can be downright scary. This lightning talk explores how seven key components of servant leadership can assist leaders in leading during times of uncertainty. 

Robert Greenleaf, the creator of the servant leadership philosophy, shared the best test of servant leadership is if people grow as a result of their leader (Keith, 2016). Servant leaders accomplish this tall order of helping others grow by engaging in several vital behaviors. Specifically, Sipe and Fick (2015) identified seven key components servant leaders possess to help others grow. These components include:

  1. Person of Character: Is honest, trustworthy, authentic, and humble.
  2. Puts People First: Expresses genuine care and concern for others; aids in a way that promotes growth.
  3. Skilled Communicator: Listens to understand and communicates with influence, not authority.
  4. Compassionate Collaborator: Strives to build a caring, collaborative community to improve the quality of life
  5. Has Foresight: Effectively creates and articulates a shared vision and anticipates potential consequences of decisions.
  6. Systems Thinker: Connects systems thinking with decisions and ethical issues.
  7. Leads with Moral Authority: Empowers others and creates systems to support quality.

These behaviors can, and many would argue, should be used by leaders in times of uncertainty to aid in providing stability to their teams. The presenter will discuss these seven components and how they aid leaders during uncertain times in times in the following manner:

  • Introduction: The presenter will spend 1-2 minutes introducing themselves and the idea of the presentation.
  • Presentation: The presenter will use a simple PowerPoint presentation to present the seven concepts, what they mean, and why they are important. The presenter will ask the group to pick 2 to 3 concepts to discuss more in detail during the time. The rest of the presentation will be spent going into specifics about those concepts and discussing practical applications of the concepts for leadership in uncertain times.
  • Closing: The presenter will allow 1-2 minutes at the end of the session for questions.

This presentation is meant to be simple, straightforward, and focused on what the participants want to discuss when it comes to the servant leadership components and how to use them during trying times. The presenter will be prepared with examples and questions for each component and will tailor the presentation for each group during the lightning talk times.

References

Keith, K. M. (Ed.). (2016). The contemporary servant as leader. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

Sipe, J. W., & Frick, D. M. (2015). Seven pillars of servant leadership: Practicing the wisdom of leading by serving. Paulist Press.