Leader Purposefulness and Servant Leadership

  • Justin A. Irving


This chapter provides an overview and exploration of leader purposefulness, arguing that purpose and meaning serve as foundational concepts within servant leadership research and practice. Based on the work of Robert K. Greenleaf, and servant leadership’s emphasis on follower focus and service of followers, Irving presents a case for leader purposefulness’ capacity to empower transcendence of self-interest—a requisite for servant leaders committed to the practice of serving organizational members. After establishing a case for the priority of purpose from both the servant leadership literature and the wider leadership literature, including spiritual leadership and authentic leadership, the chapter provides recommendations for leadership practitioners and researchers interested in the implications of leader purposefulness.


Leader purposefulness Meaning and purpose Leadership assessment Servant leadership Follower focus 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin A. Irving
    • 1
  1. 1.Bethel SeminaryBethel UniversitySaint PaulUSA

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