Are You a Servant Leader?

I recently asked readers to share how they volunteer in their communities, and now I'm sharing their stories with you. Holding Hands with Elderly PatientI love the passion that people have for their causes. I truly believe that as leaders we need to serve others.  There’s a whole movement related to Servant Leadership, a term coined by Robert Greenleaf in his 1970 essay

Are you familiar with the concept? From the web site: "Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world."

Young Man and Woman Giving Food and Water to Homeless ManA leader needs to be focused on the big picture, the bottom line and the greater good. She's someone who is a good and empathic listener who takes a genuine interest in the people on her team. He is a caring individual who considers positive outcomes that go beyond profit margins and invested in experiences that create purpose and meaning on a bigger scale. 

Here are a few of the ways people are serving their communities:

“I have been a volunteer fitness instructor twice a week for a Women's Ministry at a local church for over 20 years. I love it! :-)”

Rosanne MacDonald, C.Ht.,

“I learned about volunteering first from my parents and then from The Foundation of a corporation I worked for. My consulting business contributes at least 5% of total revenue per year in financial support distributed amongst several not-for-profits we've selected, and I donate at least 10% of my professional time (=200+ hours per year) to various organizations I support. I enjoy it and the organizations appreciate it. I recommend setting up a similar program, within the capabilities of the business enterprise, to any business owner interested in giving back.”

Gene Mancini, Environmental Scientist

“Although I haven't been able to spend time actually being with and volunteering for this group, I have a goal to do it soon.  In the mean time I have been raising money to help fund the program.  Achilles International's mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self-esteem and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life.  My goal is to be a guide for runners and triathletes who are blind or disabled, and hopefully be a key player in bringing a chapter to Ventura County.

Dani Bansen,

 “I volunteer with, an amazing organization dedicated to helping offset veterinary costs for licensed animal rescues. We are seeking volunteers of all ages and will pair them with mentors who are community and business leaders. Learn more at our website. (And of course, Gloria Miele, with Scouts!)”

Bonnie Quintanilla, Corridor Communications

“[I volunteer] with my church, Crossroads. They do community outreach with the homeless in Oxnard, seniors here in Camarillo, and much more.”

Mary Gillette, Sewbella Memory Quilts

 “I mentor several people continuously, mostly positive psychology students or coaches, write reviews for others, and showcase their work, give to the poor, help out professional organizations, hug everyone I can, and I practice ‘pay it forward’.  As Positive Psychologist Dr. Chris Peterson said, ‘Other People Matter.’”

Judy Krings,

"Women’s Economic Ventures!"

Lisa Braithwaite, Public Speaking Coach, (and recent recipient of WEV’’s 2013 Volunteer of the Year award)

Don't you love it?

Some of my favorite volunteer opportunities are with organizations that support the arts, education and the empowerment of women and girls, including Girl Scouts, AAUW, CAPE Charter School and the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce.

What's your favorite way to serve others? What part of the world are you trying to make a better place? I'd love to hear about it below!

gloria-miele-head-shotGloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a business development and leadership coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She helps entrepreneurs and other business leaders develop the mind set and the skill set to achieve greater business success through coaching programs, workshops, staff training, executive coaching and keynote speaking.  Visit her website at to sign up to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Strengths-Based Goal-Setting Tool.  You can also connect with us at