Workshop on power of servant leadership will be held Feb. 9

“Positive Power of Servant Leadership,” a workshop open to all businesses and members of the community, will be held Feb. 9 at Ripon College.

Servant leadership is an approach to leadership that prioritizes the needs of the group over the needs of the leader. The servant leader builds up the community by valuing each person’s contributions.

This interactive presentation will engage participants in the process of understanding the positive power of service and leadership in our personal and organizational lives and in positively impacting the lives of co-workers, customers and our communities. It will emphasize conversations, presence, character and energy in serving and leading. Through research, reflection and dialogue, participants will experience servant leadership as meaningful, ethical and practical.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Heritage Room, Pickard Commons, on the Ripon College campus. The cost is $10 per person, which includes lunch. Registration may be made at

The workshop’s leader, Tom Thibodeau, is the distinguished professor of servant leadership at Viterbo University, La Crosse. He has been teaching at Viterbo for 40 years and is the founder of the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership, the first and only master’s degree of its kind in the nation. He is a founding member of the Place of Grace hospitality house which had been serving meals and human dignity for 26 years. He regularly speaks to national audiences on the developing servant leadership movement.

“Servant leadership is both timely and timeless,” Thebodeau says. “Its origins are present throughout human history.” He says workshop participants will rediscover the power of language in holding meaningful and critical conversations, and to understand that all of leadership development is character development and the practice which leads to the development of both.

“At its core, servant leadership is about improving the culture and aims of organizations through the cultivation of character and virtue,” says says Nicholas Eastman, Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership at Ripon College. “Organizations thrive when leadership is rooted in trust and the primary goals are building up people and communities.”

(Photo: Tom Thibodeau)

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