Servant Leadership Initiative

First articulated in 1970 by management consultant Robert Greenleaf, the servant leadership model finds a natural home today at Aurora University. Launched in 2008, the Servant Leadership Initiative grew out of a financial gift from ServiceMaster Company chairman emeritus William Pollard, a champion of servant leadership who was inspired by the university's long tradition of service.

Servant Leadership Initiative logoMission

The mission of the Aurora University Servant Leadership Initiative is to promote the principle of servant leadership through education, application and reflection in the pursuit of more meaningful lives through service to the greater good.

Core concepts

  • Servant leadership is a lifelong, continuous process of learning, affirming and demonstrating.
  • Servant leadership stems from a genuine commitment to serve the "greater good" through serving others.
  • All people have unique gifts and talents that contribute to their success as servant leaders.
  • Servant leadership concepts can be applied at both the individual and organizational levels.
  • Servant leadership addresses ethical practices, globalization and religious diversity.
  • The true test of servant leadership is best measured by its effect on those led.


  • Provides initial and ongoing training and development opportunities for aspiring servant leaders.
  • Recognizes the need for affirmation of the skills and qualities essential to the ongoing practice of servant leadership and therefore fosters a network of interested individuals, institutions and organizations.
  • Facilitates service opportunities both locally and internationally.
  • Is committed to a broader communication of the philosophy through alliances with partner institutions, organizations and individuals, as well as research production and dissemination.


Mary Tarling, Director of Servant Leadership

SLI Events
The Servant Leadership Initiative offers public workshops, discussion groups, guest lectures and seminars for the larger community. Please check back for future events.
Wackerlin Events
No events scheduled at this time.