“I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you, who will be really happy, are those who have sought and found to serve" Albert Schweizer


As a leader you will face the choice of deciding HOW you would like to lead. In today's business culture leaders are often seen as those who who are strong-willed, have authority and are able to influence other people through inspiration and vision. While these can be important qualities of a leader, highly impactful leadership might also express the quality of "Service", which is often overlooked. We call this type of leadership is called "Servant leadership".

Service can take many different forms. It is often felt in the form of a "call" or a "pull" to express ourselves. It can also give the sense of destiny, direction, or vocation. We can think about service as an opportunity to manifest our own vision into reality.

The characteristics of a Servant Leader include that they:

  • Devote themselves to serving the needs of organization members

  • Focus on meeting the needs of those they lead

  • Develop employees to bring out the best in them

  • Coach others and encourage their self expression

  • Facilitate personal growth in all who work with them

  • Listen and build a sense of community

Connect to the programme

During the WYSE program you may have been part of a game to (secretly) be of service to someone in the whole group. By selecting a name from the group you became a servant, doing a good deed to this person without revealing your identity. Similarly, you were being served by one of your peers without your knowing.

  • What was your most positive memory of this experience?

  • How was did it feel to serve "secretly"?

  • How was it for you to being "secretly" served?

10/10/10 – Doing, Reflecting, Connecting

Doing – physical activity:

  1. Choose one area of your life out of this list, where you would like to express "being of service": Career, Work, Charity, Community, Family, Friends, Self

  2. Set yourself the following goal: "I choose to express being of service in this area by doing: _______. I will do this for the next ____ days at least once per day.

Reflecting – thinking, meditating:

  1. Can you think of an example of a gift / present / present that you like to give to a friend (e.g., cooking, writing a birthday card, sending a smile, ...)? If you do this for another person, do you do this also for yourself? If you were to do this for yourself, how would this feel?

  2. Can you think of a recent example when you gave yourself a treat, something that felt good for yourself (e.g., listening to your favourite song, eating your favourite meal, taking time to relax)? What would happen if you gave a random treat to another person (friends, family, community, random people on the street)? What would the effect be?

Connecting – singing, speaking, sharing with others: Exchange your thoughts with a friend, other participant of your program on this idea of "being of service". How does this concept resonate for you? What is your own experience in serving others? How well do you recognize their needs, how well do you know your own needs?


"I slept, and I dreamt that life was all joy. I woke, and saw that life was but service. I served, and discovered that service was joy." Rabindranath Tagore

Lital from Israel (living in US): One of my great passions in life is global education. I believe in the power of young, intelligent people to change the world through travelling abroad to enhance their education. But I found that many people have huge information problems and often do not make the right decisions about how to maximize their potential via their studies abroad. Having witnessed this information challenge firsthand, I felt that I had to do something to help others. I decided to create a startup company – – an online community for ambitious young people, which aims to enable more people to go through this experience of graduate school abroad successfully .

Further reading:

  • Desmond Tutu on leadership (South African Nobel Prize Laureate): link

  • Wikipedia entry on the origins by Robert Greenleaf and the description of Servant Leadership: link