Project Description

Larry Spears

President & CEO of the Larry C. Spears Center for Servant-Leadership

Larry C. Spears is President & CEO of the Larry C. Spears Center for Servant-Leadership, Inc. (Indianapolis), a charitable organization established in 2008, committed to enhancing the global understanding and practices of servant-leadership. Larry is also Servant-Leadership Scholar at Gonzaga University (Spokane), where he teaches graduate courses in servant-leadership. He also serves as Senior Advisory Editor of The International Journal of Servant-Leadership, founded in 2005. From 1990-2007 Larry served as President & CEO, and as President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, with the Robert K. Greenleaf Center. In the 1970s and 80s, Larry served as either director or staff member with the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, the GLCA Philadelphia Urban Semester, the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, and with the Quaker magazine, Friends Journal. Spears is also a writer and editor who has published hundreds of articles, essays, newsletters, books and other publications on servant-leadership. A 2004 television broadcast interview of Spears by Stone Phillips on NBC’s Dateline was seen by ten million viewers. Larry spent time with Robert Greenleaf in 1990; and, following Greenleaf’s death, Spears led an effort that uncovered many previously unknown writings by Greenleaf, some of which were subsequently published in two new books of Greenleaf’s writings in 1996, On Becoming a Servant-Leader (with Don Frick, Jossey-Bass), and Seeker and Servant (with Anne Fraker, Jossey-Bass). Spears also edited three additional books of Robert Greenleaf’s writings: The Power of Servant-Leadership (1998, Berrett-Koehler), Servant-Leadership: The 25th Anniversary Edition (2002, Paulist Press), and The Servant-Leader Within (with Hamilton Beazley and Julie Beggs, 2003, Paulist Press). Larry is also editor, co-editor, and/or contributing author to 28 additional books over the past thirty years, including a series of six servant-leadership anthologies: Conversations on Servant-Leadership (with Shann Ferch, Mary McFarland, and Mike Carey; 2015, SUNY Press); The Spirit of Servant Leadership (with Shann Ferch; 2011, Paulist Press); Practicing Servant-Leadership (with Michele Lawrence; 2004, Jossey-Bass); Focus on Leadership (with Michele Lawrence; 2002, John Wiley & Sons); Insights on Leadership (1998, John Wiley & Sons); and, Reflections on Leadership (1995, John Wiley & Sons). Some of Larry’s best-known essays include, “The Understanding and Practice of Servant-Leadership”; “Myers-Briggs and Servant-Leadership,” (with Ralph Lewis and Beth Lafferty); “Holistic Servant-Leadership,” (with George SanFacon); and, “Savoring Life Through Servant-Leadership,” (with Richard Leider). Over the past three decades, Larry has given over 300 presentations on four continents, a dozen countries, and forty states. He was first introduced to Greenleaf’s writings in 1982, while serving on the staff of the Quaker magazine, Friends Journal. Among several honors, Spears is the 2018 inaugural recipient of Gonzaga University School of Leadership Studies Hall of Honor. In 2015, he was honored by the Greenleaf Centre-United Kingdom. In 2008, he received the Community Leadership Award given by DePauw University, and in 2004 he received the Dare-to-Lead Award given by the International Leadership Network. Larry has over forty years of experience in organizational leadership, entrepreneurial development, non-profit management, and grant writing, having envisioned and authored many successful grant projects.