Center for Sharing at SL Conference | Center For Sharing
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Center for Sharing at SL Conference

14 Jun Center for Sharing at SL Conference

Cheryl Broetje and Glenn Cross attended the recent Greenleaf Center 21st Annual International Servant Leadership Conference held in Dallas last week. Cheryl was invited to be the closing Keynote speaker of the conference. She did a wonderful job of telling those personal stories that have affected so many here and around the world. Many people were moved by her words, and came up afterward to see how they might become involved in some of the many projects here and around the world. Cheryl has a unique ability to reach those in the board rooms and those on the margins of society. We are proud of how she is able to connect with those that otherwise would not hear the stories of triumph of those overcoming the obstacles in their paths.

Glenn said he was grateful for the opportunity to connect with many people and tell them about the work of the Center For Sharing and see how they might partner together to further the work of SL around the world.

In addition, Cheryl received a wonderful response from the Conference Planning Team. It is as follows:

Cheryl, you surpassed our greatest expectations ! What a powerful story of courage, creativity, compassion and servant leadership.  We were drawn into your story and wept at the incredible and abundant love you, your family and your First Fruit Team continues to give.  We remember hearing you first in a break out in Indianapolis more than ten years ago.  You have come so far since that time.

We realize that you have such important work now in Mexico, Africa as well as the Center for Sharing.  Yet you came to feed our spirit and imagination of just what is possible when people truly care for those with less opportunity.  Your story really addresses the second half of Bob Greenleaf’s test for servant leadership. “And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, will they not be further deprived?”

Cheryl, please thank your team for the pace-setting work you are doing.  What a powerful message in support of our President’s work to address immigration challenges and making possible a healthy future for the children of immigrants born in this country.  You did that so well!  I could feel Robert Greenleaf nodding his head in approval and standing to join our ovation at the close of your presentation.  You are a true blessing, a gifted community organizer and a catalyst for sustainable change through unconditional love!

Heartfelt thanks,

Ann, Jack and all the Greenleaf Conference Planning Team

Ann McGee-Cooper, Ed.D.

Ann McGee-Cooper & Associates, Inc.


In addition, we have added a short report on Cheryl’s highlights of the conference:

Notes From: 21st Annual International Conference, The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership

By Cheryl Broetje

June 14, 2011

The conference was held in Dallas this year, attended by approximately 600 people from several countries as far away as the Netherlands, Great Britain and Australia. Plenary speakers included leaders from: Southwest Airlines, Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Texas Health Resources, an organizational consultant/systems thinker, and… Broetje Orchards!  Some hi-lights/info from the conference this year:

  • A good health care quote: why do we call them waiting rooms? They should be caring rooms!
  • Southwest Air: creating a fun, joyful, creative environment to work in has given them their edge in the industry, they believe.
  • Nuclear energy produces 14% of global electricity. In U.S it supplies 20%. France=75%.
  • Quote:  “When does a child of divine birth fall from grace?”
  • For companies who may be transitioning to a second or third generation, there are big challenges to maintain the purpose and core values, yet move with the times.

1st Generation: founders/pioneers. Key words: seeing whole, with core people, risk  takers.

2nd Generation: managers/leaders; differentiation; roles, divisions; structure, systems, articulate.

  • 3rd Generation: Because they may be removed from face time with 1st generation, 3G needs transformational leaders who reflect on the mental models, re-vitalize core of 1st generation, expand boundaries, sustain what worked in 2G, shape a learning culture, monitor internal/external changes to keep gap from growing too wide. Inspire followers to transcend their values to follow the mission. (The U.S is suffering from fragmentation…just doing my part. We need to remember: we are part of a whole. )
  • Quote: “Adults can only grow if you have the courage to un-learn.”
  • Dick Pieper, Greenleaf Center board chair: spoke about the critical need to develop a ‘moral disposition’ in young people through character education, K-12 through service learning, civics, servant leadership, social/emotional education…they all add value to the moral base. He says there is more intelligence in the heart than the brain, by far. Moral disposition is learned.
  • Pieper and others are doing some cutting edge work in the area of creating servant led communities, by bringing institutions within communities together to work on their challenges/opportunities together. This is a next step beyond what Greenleaf referred to as a ‘theology of persons’, to a ‘theology of institutions’….just as individuals need love, support, accountability, training, purpose, vision….so do organizations, so that they also might live out and be faithful to their God-given calls to the service of society.
  • Steve Young conducted a seminar comparing the core values of the bible, the Qur’an, Buddhist and Confucian writings. His research shows a common approach to the use of power in service of others as the best way to promote individual and societal health, peace and prosperity.
  • Ann McGee-Cooper: Ask:  “What am I doing that is creating what I don’t want?” Ask for help.