What is Service Leadership?

Kiwa­nis Inter­na­tion­al empow­ers peo­ple at every stage of life to become com­pe­tent, capa­ble, and com­pas­sion­ate lead­ers by help­ing them learn to help oth­ers. Through its Ser­vice Lead­er­ship Pro­grams, Kiwa­nis teach­es young lead­ers new ways to change the world by serv­ing one child and one com­mu­ni­ty at a time.

We define Ser­vice Lead­er­ship as the next step beyond ser­vice learn­ing. Once a young per­son ful­ly under­stands the con­cept of learn­ing by help­ing oth­ers, he or she begins to grow per­son­al­ly as a leader.

The Ser­vice Lead­er­ship con­cept is based on the phi­los­o­phy of Ser­vant Lead­er­ship, a term coined by Robert K. Green­leaf to define a leader who is ser­vant first. “It begins with the nat­ur­al feel­ing that one wants to serve, to serve first,” Green­leaf wrote. “Then con­scious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”

Ser­vice is at the heart of every Kiwa­nis Inter­na­tion­al club, no mat­ter where in the world it’s locat­ed. Kiwa­nis mem­bers stage near­ly 150,000 ser­vice projects, devote more than 6 mil­lion hours of ser­vice and raise near­ly US$100 mil­lion every year for com­mu­ni­ties, fam­i­lies and projects. Key Club mem­bers pitch in 12 mil­lion hours of ser­vice each year, and CKI mem­bers anoth­er 500,000 hours of ser­vice! Aktion Club mem­bers donate anoth­er 92,000 hours of ser­vice every year. Add it all up, and that’s more than 18 mil­lion hours of ser­vice every year!

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