Expressions of Appreciation

The following quotes are a selection of expressions sent to Larry throughout the years.

"Goodness! You’ve accomplished a lot. Thank you, Larry, for continuing and enhancing the ideas of my old friend, Bob Greenleaf. You’re a gentleman and scholar." 
- (2003) Warren Bennis, author, On Leadership

"I’m proud of what you’ve done."
- (2004) Ken Blanchard, author, The Servant Leader

"Larry, you are special in the way you embody the ideas that you advocate.
You are faithful to the ideas of servanthood and your new venture will only widen
the audience for what you have given so many years of your life to.
- (2008) Peter Block, author, Stewardship

"With every wish for your success in building the philosophy of servant-leadership."
- (1995) John Bogle, founder/retired chairman, The Vanguard Group

"You have caused the impossible dream to happen—you saved the Greenleaf Center from certain destruction and made it into an international, overwhelming success. With love."
- (2000) Bill Bottum, Greenleaf Center trustee from 1981-2001

"I hold you in high regard."
- (1999) James MacGregor Burns, author, Leadership

"I appreciate the leadership you give to Greenleaf’s seminal work."
- (2001) John Carver, author, Board Governance

"Chapman University presents you with its Outstanding Leadership Award in recognition of your pioneering efforts and enduring commitment to promoting servant-leadership around the world."
- (2002) Chapman University

"Good friend and partner! Congratulations on the marvelous book, Practicing Servant Leadership. Keep leaving a legacy. When we were born our work was born with us. You’re doing it well. Love & appreciation."
- (2005) Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Spears & Covey
Covey & Spears

"Your influence personally, professionally, and organizationally is much greater than you will ever know. As a student of nonviolence I believe good spirals out from people, and the good in you has spiraled out in many different directions. Talent like yours is not given to many, and the world needs you."
- (2005) Paul Davis, President, Scanlon Leadership Network

"DePauw University is proud to present the Community Leader Award to Larry C. Spears for outstanding community leadership, which has made a difference in so many lives."
- (2008) DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana

"Your work here at Gonzaga University and internationally has gained a special place and following."
- (2006) Shann Ferch, Editor, The International Journal of Servant Leadership

"With high regard for your work and passion."
- (1995) Ron Heifetz, author, Leadership Without Easy Answers

"The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership has been blessed with the presence, talent, capabilities, sincere devotion, ethical guidance, and determined stewardship of a man who, for the past ten years, has brought the highest quality of management and leadership to work every day. We are awed by his sense of responsibility, the care he brings to all of his work, whether that is editing a book, writing articles, putting together agendas and financial plans, or working with board members. Our board, staff, and all of us here have been the lucky recipients of his focus and curiosity, his stability and his generosity, his seriousness and his sense of humor. Larry, you have our deepest gratitude for all that you have done—things of high visibility and things of quiet humility. Your ongoing reflective presence, your determination, and your creativity have wrought wonders. As a manager, a leader, an author, an editor, and a fellow traveler on this path called servant-leadership, all of us thank you."
- (2000) The Greenleaf Center Board of Trustees

"To Larry: Who leads, who inspires, who keeps the faith."
- (1998) Frances Hesselbein, editor, The Leader of the Future

"Companion on the odyssey we share."
- (2000) Dee Hock, author, Birth of the Chaordic Age

"Thank you for your dedication and hard work in a great cause that is making a difference in the lives of many thousands of people."
- (1998) James Hunter, author, The Servant

"The 2004 Dare-To-Lead Award is given in recognition of your demonstrated commitment and many contributions to building effective, responsible leaders."
- (2004) The International Leadership Network

"Thanks for holding up the ideals of servant leadership!"
- (2005) John Izzo, author, Second Innocence

"Thanks for sharing with the world your own sense of inner calling and outer expression."
- (2002) Michael Jones, author, Creating an Imaginative Life

"Thank you for the opportunities you’ve created, and the extraordinary difference that you are making."
- (2003) James M. Kouzes, author, Encouraging the Heart

"Thanks for your own “fire,” and hopes of sitting around it with you often!"
- (2005) Richard J. Leider, author, Claiming Your Place at the Fire

"Thanks for answering your call to servant-leadership. Keep on."
- (2004) John P. Schuster, author, Answering Your Call

"It has been said that all ministers have a theme and whether they are a bore or interesting depends on how many variations they can get on the theme. I am so pleased to see that you are coming up with new angles and new audiences. I also know how difficult it can be to follow a charismatic founder, and that adds all the more to my respect for what you have been able to accomplish."
- (2000) Edgar Stoesz, author, Common Sense for Board Members

"Many blessings for your important work; with gratitude for our shared journey. May you continue to proclaim, teach, and host the vision of a world of servant leaders."
- (2005) Margaret Wheatley, author, Finding Our Way
Wheatley & Spears
Wheatley & Spears

"With great respect for your work."
- (2005) Danah Zohar, author, Spiritual Capital

Larry C. Spears, President & CEO

Larry SpearsLarry C. Spears is President & CEO of the Larry C. Spears Center for Servant-Leadership, Inc., established in 2008. From 1990-2007 he served as President & CEO of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership. Spears had previously been Managing Director of the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, a cooperative association of 12 colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. He also served as a staff member with the Great Lakes Colleges Association's Philadelphia Center and with the Quaker magazine, Friends Journal, in Philadelphia, PA.

Spears is also a writer and editor who has published hundreds of articles, essays, newsletters, books and other publications on servant-leadership. Dozens of newspapers and journals have interviewed him, including Fortune, the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, Advancing Philanthropy, and many others. A 2004 television broadcast interview of Spears by Stone Philips on NBC’s Dateline helped to introduce servant leadership and Robert Greenleaf to ten million viewers.

Larry is the creator and editor of various books on servant-leadership, as well as the contributing author to many others, found HERE

Larry is also a Series Editor of the Servant-Leadership Essay Series, and he serves as the Senior Advisory Editor for The International Journal of Servant Leadership (2005-Present).

Spears is also a frequent speaker on servant-leadership and a sought-after advisor. The titles of some of his addresses include "Servant-Leadership and the Honoring of Excellence," “Servant-Leadership and Business,” and "Robert K. Greenleaf's Influence on Trusteeship." Among his recent keynote presentations are addresses to the Servant-Leadership Research Roundtable, the Louisiana Office of Mental Health, Gonzaga University, the Greenleaf Center, and Indiana Campus Compact. Since 1990, Larry has given two hundred keynote addresses on servant-leadership on four continents, a dozen countries, and forty states. Larry has been called today’s foremost authority on servant-leadership. He knew Robert Greenleaf and first encountered Greenleaf’s writings on servant-leadership in the early 1980s while working with the Quaker magazine, Friends Journal.  Following Greenleaf’s death in 1990, Larry examined Greenleaf’s personal papers and discovered dozens of previously unknown and unpublished essays written by Greenleaf over a fifty-year period. Many of these essays were later collected and published in 1996 in two volumes (On Becoming a Servant-Leader, and Seeker and Servant).

Among several honors, Spears was the recipient of the 2004 Dare-to-Lead Award given by the International Leadership Network. Larry has thirty years of experience in organizational leadership, entrepreneurial development, non-profit management, and grant writing, having envisioned and authored 30 successful grant projects totaling several million dollars. The newly established Spears Center for Servant-Leadership is committed to enhancing the global understanding and practices of servant-leadership. Larry is a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and a Fellow of the World Business Academy. He and his wife, Beth Lafferty, have two wonderful sons: James, and Matthew.

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Read Essays Online!



The Spears Center is a charitable, non-profit organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowable. Our federal tax ID number is 26-1555344. We invite your donation by check to The Spears Center, 329 Garden Grace Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46239.  Thank you!


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