This is the best definition of servant leadership that I’ve ever heard—be inspired today! Commander James Stockdale USN, one of my senior leaders in the prison camps of Vietnam, practiced “servant leadership,” the belief that leaders should prioritize the needs of followers, long before it was popularized in business circles.
He wrote in Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot (Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 1995): “A leader must remember he is responsible for his charges. He must tend his flock, not only cracking the whip but ‘washing their feet’ when they are in need of help.” The approach frees the flock to look out for each other and the greater good.
In a 1981 address to the graduating class of John Carroll University, Stockdale encapsulated his POW leadership: “From this eight-year experience, I distilled one all-purpose idea. . . . it is a simple idea . . . an idea that naturally and spontaneously comes to men under pressure. . . . You are your brother’s keeper.”
This is an excerpt from Lee’s September 2016 release entitled Engage with Honor: Building a Culture of Courageous Accountability – Learn More