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Servant Leadership

  • “The servant leader is, above all, a servant. The sense of being a servant is a natural sense of helping others. This conscious choice leads a person to leadership, making him a leader, even if he or she does not have such an expectation. The sense of responsibility displayed for meeting the basic needs of people plays an important role. Serving, helping, and leading people are complementary and cyclical. True leadership emerges from the primary motivation to develop and serve others.”1)
  • “The best test (for servant leadership)… is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servant? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, will they not be further deprived?”2)
  • Servant leadership works best when leaders are altruistic and have a strong motivation and deep-seated interest in helping others.”3)
  • “A leader is a person who can see yesterday, today and tomorrow together with his superior understanding, courage and determination, and who knows how to come to terms with his time thanks to his characteristics that are not bound with time and space.”4)
  • “Our noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, stated: ‘The master of a people is the one who serves them.’5) In this respect, devoted souls should consider serving humanity as their highest priority, no matter which country or society they are in.”6)
  • “When Sultan Selim the Brave heard that he was mentioned as ‘the Ruler of Mecca and Medina' in a sermon, he immediately stood up and said: ‘No! Not ‘the Ruler of Mecca and Medina’ but ‘the servant of Mecca and Medina.’ I can be only a servant.”7)

Further Reading

  • Gürkan Çelik, Yusuf Alan, Hizmetkar Liderlik: Yeni Bir Liderlik Anlayışı, Rotterdam: Libertas Media, 2003.
  • Gürkan Çelik, Yusuf Alan, “Fethullah Gülen as a Servant Leader”, Global Servant-Leadership: Wisdom, Love, and Legitimate Power in the Age of Chaos, (ed.) Philip Mathew; Jiying Song; Shann Ray Ferch and Larry C. Spears, Washington DC: Lexington Books, 2020, p. 181–200.
  • Gürkan Polat, “Servant Leadership”, The Fountain, Jan-Feb 2021, Issue 139.
  • Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader, Indianapolis: The Robert K. Greenleaf Center, 1991.
  • Shann Ray Ferch, Larry C. Spears, The Spirit of Servant-Leadership, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2011.

Other Languages


Cf. Robert K. Greenleaf, Servant Leadership, Newton Center, MA: Robert K. Greenleaf Center, 1973, p. 7; Gürkan Çelik, Yusuf Alan, Hizmetkar Liderlik: Yeni Bir Liderlik Anlayışı, Rotterdam: Libertas Media, 2003, p. 29.
Greenleaf, Ibid.
P.G. Northouse, Leadership: Theory in Practice. Chapter 10: Servant Leadership, Western Michigan University, Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 2016, p. 238.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Fasıldan Fasıla-4, İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 183.
Daylami, Musnad, II, 324.
M. Fethullah Gülen, “Yürüyün Şeytan ve Avenesine Rağmen!” , 24 April 2016, Bamteli.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Hitap Çiçekleri, İstanbul: Nesil Yayınları, 2001, p. 40.
servantleadership.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/20 10:20 by Editor