President's Letter: Servant-Leadership

Posted By: Patty Utley Dimensions Online,

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” -Robert K. Greenleaf

What is a Servant-Leader?

By definition, a servant-leader is someone who serves others first. They have chosen to lead and move whatever group they are leading forward to serve their mission statement. Still, they are also a person who puts the growth and well-being of people and the communities they serve before themselves. 

A servant-leader does not focus on being a better leader but strives to make other people better leaders and make the community a better place.

Here are some characteristics that align with a servant-leader.

  1. Valuing People
    You are making sure you are developing your people so they can perform at the highest level possible for your organization while also allowing them to demonstrate their own personal growth.

  2. Trust
    Your focus is to involve your employees in the organization’s overall success by allowing them opportunities to feel empowered and take ownership of their work. Not focusing on how much control you have but how much control you give away. Never underestimate the impact of empowered employees.

  3. Humility
    They say one of the best signs of a leader is not how many people follow them but how many leaders they create. Servant-leaders do not promote themselves continually; they demonstrate their leadership by putting people first. They show kindness, compassion, and empathy. Humility creates loyalty.

  4. Listening
    Servant-leaders spend more time listening than they do telling. Spending time understanding your people’s concerns can make you an approachable person. And when things do not go as planned, your people will trust you to help them overcome the problem rather than fearing retribution or punishment. Listening also builds confidence.  
  5. Caring
    Care about your people. Spend time getting to know them. Know their likes, dislikes, struggles, and successes. We are all human; take time to show your employees that you are only human too. Caring will not only make you a more approachable leader but also makes you an overall better person.

AATC thrives on servant-leadership. We have a top-notch set of executives, directors, chairs, and staff who work together to create an unbreakable chain of success. From the work of our committees to our President, our goal is the same—to be servant-leaders for AATC. 

Anyone can see servant-leadership through all our events, programs, and fundraisers we host each year. For example, we raise thousands of dollars for UGM each year, and the generosity and efforts of our members help homeless children feel special during our Christmas in July event. In addition, we send a group of AATC leaders through our Leadership Lyceum program so we can continue to develop servant-leaders. We also host countless education and training programs to help our industry develop leaders. 

Are you a servant-leader? Then get involved with AATC, and the rewards will be fulfilling. 

Do not forget to sign up for our upcoming Business Exchange event taking place at Irving Convention Center on Aug 9! Sign up at

Regardless of whether we lead or follow, being a good servant-leader is a dance; one we can perform every day.

Will you Dance with me?

Patty Utley, 
AATC President