The Greatest Servant Leader(s) I’ve Ever Met

One Person. One Family. One Block at a Time.

Sometimes the best original research isn’t done by academics in tweed jackets with chewed up pipes (sorry, I’m showing my age)… I mean hip dudes in torn jeans with pictures of Che Guevara on their office wall and their nation’s flag lying under their chair.  Sometimes it’s done by folks like us who have logged a few miles in life and have just “been there done that”.  This is often the case with leadership.

And so it is as I consider the greatest servant leaders I’ve ever met.

Ed and Tammy Glover run a ministry called the Urban Impact Foundation, in my home of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.  They seek to serve others by reaching out through their faith. Urban Impact Foundation’s purpose is to:

…enlist God’s help in building positive relationships with youth on Pittsburgh’s North Side. We ask for His guidance in mending the wounds of needy children. From there we can work to change Pittsburgh one person, one family, and one block at a time. 

Pastor Ed says, “At Urban Impact, we’re providing options for those who have few or no options.”  He and Tammy live on Pittsburgh’s “north side”, one of the most crime-infested, drug-ridden, hostile places in Pittsburgh, and perhaps America.  They have chosen to live in this community that they serve, along with their four children Nathan, Joshua, Jonathan, and Abigail.  Ed runs the overall Foundation which includes sports (along with several Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers), academic assistance, summer day camp, and leadership development.  Tammy runs the Urban Impact Foundation Performing Arts Academy and Choir which performed on the 2007 WQED (PBS) Christmas Special.  Their contributions to this community are too numerous to mention, so have a look in their own words at a small part of their servant leadership.  

Why is this great servant leadership?  It’s simple… paraphrasing the words of Rick Warren:  It’s not about them – it never was.

Please tell us at L2L about the Greatest Servant Leader You’ve Ever Met.

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One Response

  1. Hello Ian,

    “Servant leadership” hits on a passion of mine since I went to the Naval Academy out of high school. It’s what I was trained to be when I led men in the service, aboard nuclear submarines, in a war zone.

    The greatest examples of servant leaders I’ve ever seen are found in the pages of Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation”. More recently, I’ve come across 2 books by contemporary young practitioners from the Iraq war: “A Soldiers Story” by Andrew Exxum and “Two Wars” by Norman Self. Just read the first chapters and you’ll see that “servant leadership” is still alive and well in the current generation of service people.

    By the way, if we had more “servant” in our business, financial and political leaders, how much better would our country be today?

    All the best,

    Bob Viney

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