Servant Leadership: a Path to High Performance

Darden School of Business

How long?

  • 6 days
  • in person

What are the topics?

Darden School of Business


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Who should attend

This course is designed for leaders and practicing senior managers who translate corporate strategy into operational performance among private and public companies, not-for-profits, NGOs and educational and health systems.

About the course

Ensure sustainable success by leading through your team, supporting their development and engaging with people at a deeper level.

  • Embody your values in your behavior and interactions, increasing trust with employees, partners, and customers.
  • Cultivate an environment of transparency around organizational strategy and performance to encourage support for and dedication to organizational goals.
  • Discover and develop new, innovative directions through collaboration when everyone has equal input.

At a Glance

Supercharge the success of your business by prioritizing people first. In Servant Leadership: A Path to High Performance, you'll learn how becoming accountable to those who typically account to you can deepen working relationships, strengthen employee and customer satisfaction, and re-engage the emotional drivers of success across your sphere of influence.

The Program

You'll look behind the scenes at some of the world's most successful businesses, including Best Buy, UPS, Whole Foods, Room & Board, Carlson Travel and Grameen Bank, to study their "secrets": people-centric leaders. You'll identify the habits and personal beliefs that power their daily and long-term choices. Using these principles as your guide, you'll participate in workshops to audit your organization and your own behavior during typical business situations. Speakers will share intimate stories of their servant leadership experiences, and each day you'll apply these insights to a personalized plan for improving your effectiveness as a leader. You'll also refine your natural management inclinations with individual coaching from Darden leadership, service and ethics professors, and ultimately discover how the values you demonstrate allow ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Where You'll Excel

  • Learn why the servant leadership model is one of the fastest-growing forms of professional development among top-performing managers and executives.
  • Examine your unchallenged assumptions about direct report management.
  • Discover the difference between obedience and engagement and ingrain new habits that encourage others to achieve the highest good.
  • Develop your best ideas with collaborative input and without undue attachment to their execution.
  • Move beyond compensatory standards of risk and reward by cultivating an atmosphere of support and respect.
  • Lead your team through stressful projects while remaining thoughtful, empathetic and inclusive.

Schedule & Topics

  • The Nine "Secrets" of High-Performance Organizations
  • Good Intentions Are Not Enough: Leadership Is Behavior
  • Engagement for Success
  • Good People, Bad Outcomes
  • High-Performance Harmony
  • Business Purpose and Executive Purpose
  • Obedience and Authority
  • Change? How?


You'll walk away from Servant Leadership with:

  • An action plan of goals to remind you of when and how to serve others
  • An awareness of how others perceive your servant leadership skills and methods to improve the habits you already possess
  • Easy ways to welcome high-level conversations with direct reports, customers and suppliers
  • Triggers to help you relax the tension of self-preservation in favor of thoughtfulness, empathy and willingness to listen
  • The ability to let go and allow others to do their jobs more effectively and happily
  • A list of personal performance goals to consistently improve your servant leadership practice


Sankaran Venkataraman

Education: MA, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India; MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta; Ph.D., University of Minnesota Sankaran Venkataraman ("Venkat") is the MasterCard Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean for Faculty and Research at the...

Edward Hess

Education: B.S., University of Florida; J.D., University of Virginia; L.L.M., New York University Professor Edward D. Hess spent more than 20 years in the business world as a senior executive at Warburg Paribas Becker, Boettcher & Company, the Robert M. Bass Group and Arthur Andersen. He is ...

Andrew Wicks

Education: B.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville; MA, Ph.D., University of Virginia Andrew C. Wicks is the Ruffin Professor of Business Administration at Darden. He is director of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, director of the doctoral program and academic advisor for the Business Rou...

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Servant Leadership: a Path to High Performance at Darden School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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