Servant Leadership: A Path to High Performance

  • Colleagues from UVA Health System Orthopeadic Surgery share how Servant Leadership impacted how they work with each other and interact with their teams on a daily basis.

  • 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


    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. It's best for those who want to embrace introspection as well as delegation, create a working atmosphere of harmony and contentment, or ensure the long-term success of their organization. 


    Andrew C. Wicks

    Ruffin Professor of Business Administration; Director, Darden Olsson Center for Applied Ethics; Director, Darden Doctoral Program
    Co-author of three books and dozens of cases and journal articles, Wicks is an expert in corporate social responsibility and ethics. His research focuses on stakeholder responsibility, total quality management, trust, and ethics and entrepreneurship. An academic adviser for the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics, Wicks also serves as an adjunct professor at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at UVA.


    Edward D. Hess

    Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence

    Prior to joining academia, Professor Hess spent more than 20 years in the business world as a senior executive. He is the author of 12 books, over 100 articles and over 60 Darden cases, etc. dealing with growth, innovation and learning cultures, systems and processes. His books include Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence In the Smart Machine Age(Berrett- Kohler, 2017) and Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization(Columbia Business School Publishing, September 2014). He consults regularly with major public and private companies.


    Alexander B. Horniman

    Killgallon Ohio Art Professor of Business Administration and Senior Fellow at the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics
    Horniman has been training ethical, mindful leaders for more than 45 years. He has inspired thousands to think differently about how they lead and influence others. A behavioral psychology and leadership specialist, he is the founding director of Darden's Olsson Center for Applied Ethics and has prior experience in the military and aviation industry.


    S. Venkataraman

    MasterCard Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research
    An internationally renowned scholar and educator in the field of entrepreneurship, "Venkat" also teaches ethics and strategy. He consults with Fortune 500 firms and advises companies, universities and governments on strategy. The faculty director of The Executive Program, Darden's flagship advanced management course, he began his career as co-founder of a successful Indian technology spinoff.

    Location & Accommodations

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    As a participant, you'll stay in a private room at the  Inn at Darden, our highly rated hotel adjacent to the classroom buildings and dining center. Accommodations are included in your tuition.

    Tuition & Certificates

    $9,450 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the  Inn at Darden.

    By taking this course, you will earn one week of credit toward a Certificate in LeadershiporGeneral Management.