News and Reviews

Greenleaf Centre UK Awards Larry Spears




At our January meeting last year the Greenleaf UK Board agreed that we should, at our 2015 conference, recognise the contribution made to our centre’s work by one of our longest standing friends and supporters.

Larry Spears has been a staunch ally for many years, always lending ideas and encouragement when they were most needed, and asking the occasional searching – sometimes awkward - question when it was most warranted. We owe him a real and lasting debt of gratitude.

It’s very difficult to sum up in a few words just how much we owe Larry; indeed the whole servant-leadership community is in his debt. During his term as CEO at The Greenleaf Center in the United States, interest in servant-leadership spread substantially, and a number of international centres were established, independent from, but greatly encouraged by Larry and the then Greenleaf Center Board.

Greenleaf UK essentially was established when Ralph Lewis and I met back in 1996 and it was Larry who actually brokered that meeting. It was also largely his encouragement that led Ralph and myself to believe we really could get a Centre going here in the UK, and at very short notice - the kind of short notice that would today cause my blood to run cold - we set up our very first conference in 1997 with his help and that of his colleague Richard Smith. That was way back then, and here we are all these years later, planning our 20th annual conference for later this year.

Larry has been a regular attendee at our conference for a number of years and has presented on three separate occasions. His support and encouragement have remained a constant throughout the years, and it has been a pleasure to welcome him back to London every November.

The Board decided that it should find some tangible way of expressing our thanks and appreciation to Larry. We agreed on a form of words, and then passed the project on to Pat Reid, the Board member working in the creative world, to design and produce something fitting for the occasion. The results, shown here, confirmed that the right person had undertaken the task.

John Noble
January 2016