Servant leadership in the creative academy | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2045-5879
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5887



How do the characteristics and behaviours of creative people mesh with their roles as faculty members? How do the opportunities and demands of today’s college environments play into the work lives of arts faculty? And what are the implications of these questions for thinking about how best to lead artists and arts scholars in colleges and universities? This article explores these questions through an examination of servant leadership, an approach that focuses on service as an underlying principle of leadership. Intertwined with a discussion of creative people and optimal characteristics of those who lead them, I describe current conditions of colleges and universities and what being a college leader may be like. I then present characteristics of servant leaders and attempt to draw some parallels between servant leadership behaviours and needs of faculty and students in the arts. Finally, I summarize some potentially positive outcomes of servant leadership as well as some of the model’s possible drawbacks and challenges.


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